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Irene Hardwicke Olivieri Biography

American, b. 1959, Texas, based in Bend, Oregon

Irene was born and raised on the southern tip of Texas, spending much of her childhood on the banks of the Rio Grande River where her father, a farmer, grew onions and cabbage. At 17, she moved to Brazil and lived as an exchange student in Rio de Janeiro. She went on to catch a ride on a cargo boat and travel up the Amazon river, eventually making her way back home through south and central America. 

Irene studied art in Mexico and Austin Texas, then moved to New York where she received an M.A. from NYU. Irene worked as a gardener/lecturer at the Cloisters and at the New York Botanical Garden, where she created drawings of neo tropical palms and the insects that pollinate them. She now lives off the grid in the high desert of central Oregon. She paints, writes and arranges tiny bones she dissects from owl pellets into mosaic nude figures (her “PaleoGirls”), raises caterpillars, waterlilies, succulents, keeps a dermestid beetle colony and is endlessly fascinated with the mysterious workshop of nature and exploring the western wilderness.


2014    Contemporary Oregon Visions: Irene Hardwicke Olivieri and Jo Hamilton, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

2013    Breakfast in the Forest, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA – SEPTEMBER

2010    Some Kind of Wilderness, ACA Galleries, New York, NY

2006    Climbing the Giant, ACA Galleries, New York, NY

2005    Light Seeking Eyes, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL

2004    New/Now, The New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britatin, CT

2003    Thousand Acre Swamp, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2002    Paintings, Bill Maynes Gallery, New York, NY

2000    Love Feathers Fur, Finesilver Gallery, San Antonio, TX

1999    Pleasure Gardens, Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

1998    To Have and to Hold, Margaret Bodell Gallery, New York, NY

1996    Paintings, Robert Berman Gallery , Santa Monica, CA

1995    New Paintings, Bridges and Bodell Gallery, New York, NY

1992    White Room, White Columns, New York, NY

1983    New Paintings, Matrix Gallery, Austin, TX


2013    Women Call for Peace (3 year travelling exhibition) opens in October @ Shiva Gallery, John Jay College, NY

2011    Women Artists at the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT
Lucid Dreams, Noel Baza Fine Art, San Diego, CA
Fragments: Modern & Contemporary Collage, ACA Gallery, New York, NY

2010    Humanimal, Portsmouth Museum of Fine Arts, Portsmouth, NH
Bare, Naked and Nude, Noel Baza Fine Art, India Street Gallery, San Diego, CA
Survey Select: Narrative Paintings, The Wonderbread Factory, San Diego, CA
Sea Turtle Restoration Project, San Francisco, CA

2009    Women Forward, Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY
The Nature of Words, COCC, Bend, OR

2008    Voices of Dissonance: A Survey of Political Art 1930-2008, ACA Galleries, NYC
Manifest Hope Gallery, Democratic National Convention, Denver CO.
ACA Gallery Celebrates the Earth, ACA Gallery, NYC

2007    The Feminist Figure, The Forum Gallery, NYC
Women’s Work, TablaRasa, Brooklyn, NY

2003    Hybrids, Wave Hill, NYC

2002    Paperworks, Bachelier Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, CT
Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition, Washington Art Association, Washington, CT

2001    Connecticut Commission on the Arts, The Gold Building, Hartford, CT

2000    Quirky, Adam Baumgold Gallery, New York, NY
Con-text, College of the Mainland, Texas City, TX
Human Nature, Bachelier Cardonsky Gallery, Kent, CT
Washington : Pride of Place, Gunn Memorial Museum, Washington, CT

1998    Wishful Thinking, James Graham & Sons Gallery, New York, NY
18 x 18, Susan Cummins Gallery, Mill Valley, CA

1997    In the Image of Woman, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL
Secret Languages, Mia Gallery, Seattle , WA
White Columns, New York, NY