- bio - cvIrene Kana was born in Canea, Crete. She studied painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts under P.Tetsis, graduating in 1990 with distinction.
She has given 23 solo exhibitions in Greece, Germany, and Cyprus, and participated in over 200 group exhibitions in Greece, Cyprus, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Australia and China.
She has received distinctions in the hellenic competitions of The Chamber of Fine Arts (1998) and BOSCH (1993), and received the Group of Ten Prize in 2006. The Municipality of Athens organised an exhibition of her works at the Melina centre in 2004. She has participated in Ministry of Tourism exhibitions in the Museums of Melbourne, Beijing and Shanghai.
Her works hang in the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Greek Parliament, the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art, the Goulandris Museum on Andros, the Institute of Thracean Art and Tradition, the University of Nicosia, the Municipal Gallery of Canea, the Museum of Hydra, the National Bank of Greece, the Eurobank, AGET Iraklis, OPAP, Interamerican and several other collections in Greece and abroad.
Παλιό κίτρινο καλοκαίρι, λάδι σε καμβά, 70x20εκ.
Ιουλίδα, λάδι σε καμβά, 70x100εκ.
Αγία Μαύρα, λάδι σε καμβά, 50x70εκ.
Dreaming,oil on canvas, 100x140cm
Canea Old Harbour, Oil on canvas, 100x150cm
Birthday party, oil on canvas, 70x70cm
Attached pink, oil on canvas, 50x70cm
Andromeda, oil on canvas, 70x100cmManos Stefanides: Light from Light: «A few things I know about her» (03/09/2013)
Drama is multifaceted. Drama is hidden in the folds of light in order not to reveal its secrets. Drama balances, in painting terms, between narrative and silence, representation and abstraction. Drama is action plus melancholy: The art of Irene Kana, in other words. A type of painting divided between two “homes”, two harbours, in the north and in the south, in nights and afternoons, in landscapes and figures, in faces and journeys, in scriptures tender and tough, in bright and melancholic gazes. The gaze of the painter, the glance of the spectator.
What does Irene Kana paint when she ignites her canvases with terras and umbers, with vermilion and ochre, with warm, orange and blue violet colours, deep harmonies? In my opinion, she paints the memory that fades, the hedonic, liquid moments that have gone by, the ideal images of a teenager dreamlike fantasy.
The painter’s ambition is to create the image of every form of love. Love for life, for humans, for things. Maybe that’s why her paintings are so sensual, so rich with reliefs, with thick brushstrokes of paste.
Is it a contradiction that I simultaneously discuss drama, melancholy and the joy of life, joie de vivre, and the explosion of colour? I think not. Because art generally is our melancholic shield against the barbarity of life. Because it is our way of looking at daily life. Or, it is simply Irene Kana’s way, as when her cyclists or her sailing ships begin their trips from an Aegean port to reach the sky…
On the one hand time that has become a memory, and on the other, time that acquires form through an artistic record. Anyone who doesn’t see time standing still in the compositions of Irene, should probably look closer. In that moment, any waves of melancholy will be transformed in his eyes to acceptance, and yield to a deeper calmness.
They will be light from light…
P.S. Formally speaking about painting, anyone studying the works of Irene kana must stress the resonances of Nikolaos Lytras and Panayiotis Tetsis in her compositions, or the colour of the fauvists and especially that of Kees van Dongen in her portraits of children. But more than what she borrows, loves, or alludes to, what prevails in them is the completely personal style she has managed to master. With a lot of work. With a lot of focus. With the tenacity of one who wants to bring a half sunken city back into light…