Artist Irene Nedelay
Irene Nedelay is an American visual artist. She was born in Siberia in the city of Novosibirsk. Her father’s entire family was exiled to Siberia from Belarus as "Enemies of the people" by Josef Stalin after he annexed part of Poland during WWII. Irene believes that she found her identity through family's stories and her father's memoirs about those tragic events.
As far back as she can remember, she always wanted to draw and paint. In Siberia, she attended art school and later enrolled in Art Institute of Novosibirsk State University which she graduated from with MFA in 1989. After graduating, she worked as an art teacher, a muralist, a commercial artist, a scene designer, and an illustrator. She became an active member of the unofficial art movement of "underground" artists and musicians and participated in many of their shows and performances. She became widely known as a visual artist after several solo shows that were held in Novosibirsk in 2000.
In 2003, Irene Nedelay moved from Siberia to Saint Petersburg, Russia where she exhibited her works and participated in various art movements. She also began to exhibit her paintings in Europe.
In 2009, Irene moved to New York. Throughout 2010-2022, she participated in many group shows and held more than a dozen solo-shows across the United States, Great Britain, Germany, and Russia. She won many awards and became a member of the National Association of Women Artists (N.A.W.A.).
In 2018, Irene went back to Siberia to adopt a child of her relatives who was left without parent's care. She took the boy under her care, but it took her years to fight with the Russian government for the adoption. Once again her family was treated as an enemy of the people, she and the boy had the ordeal from the government like her father and grandparents decades ago. They lived in Siberia, they lived in St.Petersburg, Russia and finally in Serbia, where they escaped from Russia after the outbreak of war. This struggle was the main outline of her life for four years. Finally, she won and in 2022, Irene with the child came back to the US and reunited with her family.
In her contemporary work, Irene Nedelay conveys a tangible sense of time and space. Time streams inside her canvases. It flows from one side to the other, swallowing objects, reflecting the way the passage of real time steals our lives and our memories. Her style of painting consists of simultaneous elements of realism, abstraction, and surrealism. In her works, Irene reflects her vision of her own personal history, the history of the family, and the surrounding world. She created her own unique art language that corresponds to her experience and perception of the world.
Irene Nedelay now lives in New York City and works in her studio on Staten Island. She continues doing what she does best: drawing, painting and teaching people art.