Irena Polanec

Painting, dedicated to women.

Irena Polanec is one of the most renowned Slovenian and at the same time French painters. Her most important cycle “EVE” is dedicated to women.

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From the “Eve” cycle

The painting cycle “Eve” originated in Paris. In this cycle, the artist preserves the tradition of the Renaissance through the nostalgic imaging of gentle female faces. Through sensitive knowledge of the spiritually beautiful and with a sensual, colourful, original gilding technique and the use of paradisiacal and feminine primordial symbols such as the apple and shell, she offers a convincing illusion of preciousness – of life.

View works from the “Eve” cycle

Eve was created in paradise and is the only woman to have experienced the perfect harmony of creation. She was the first woman to experience the power of temptation, the fall and the expulsion from paradise. She was not created to simply believe, therefore she desired and dared to use her own free will and her own knowledge to change and create the universe – of beauty. These are bold and ambitious desires; their realisation is only possible through uncertainty, suffering and pain. Yet it is a glorious goal that brings joy and light into dark hearts. And that is the mission of art!

The Eves are symbols of a femininity that can never be understood. The symmetrical construction of composition, the shine of gold, the porcelain glitter of the shells, the signs of wealth and happiness sprinkled over bodies and hair. Thus, in a few words, we could encapsulate the design and content of Irena Polanec’s painting, which iconographically has placed Eve, the mother of humanity, who was condemned for centuries, in the place she deserves.

“Some people say they look like me, although they are not self-portraits like those created by Frida Kahlo, who throughout her life painted only herself; but sometimes I think they are a reflection of me as a woman.”

Irena Polanec

  • Irena Polanec is one of our favourite painters. That’s because she is loved by critics and public alike. Usually painters only like one of these two categories.

    Monette Basso, Italian gallerist

  • The painting work of Irena Polanec is imbued with full confidence in the future, in which a different gender balance will prevail. And if the future is what can be discerned from the gallery of expressions offered by her artistic creation, then it is not difficult for us to evoke a world built on the foundation of these values.

    dr. Enzo Santese, Italian art historian and art critic

  • Irena Polanec confronts us again and again with the Mermaids, who have risen from a wet element with an abundance of shells, snails and seaweed in their hair, to convince the Prince to let them live on dry land. Resurrection from hope, longing for the fate of Ophelia, who returned there when the terrestrial – courtly – life became unbearable.

    dr. Zoran Kržišnik, Slovenian art historian and art critic

  • Red and black, said Stendhal, she added a handful of gold. Thus, was born the painter Irena Polanec.

    Anatole Jakovsky, French art critic

  • Irena Polanec certainly occupies a special and unique place in the art world. The core of her painting is above all the woman, with all her exuberance and the mysticism that surrounds her. The woman is an eternal enigma, which is why Irena Polanec’s seemingly realistic paintings are charged with a strong dose of surrealism.

    Max Fourny, Paris publisher

  • Man, in his environment is Irena’s great preoccupation. For her, the world is a great enigma. That is why her paintings are very often surrealistic.

    Louis Pauwels, French writer and director of the French daily Le Figaro

  • Painter Irena Polanec has been collaborating with the Mona Lisa gallery for many years, with great success. Irena Polanec’s artworks are highly valued, the same as the most distinguished artists of our gallery: Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Roberto Matta, Andre Masson, Françis Picabia…

    Arnaud Romic, Parisian gallerist

  • Irena Polanec’s painting, this is the Renaissance of the twentieth century. It’s all the gold of sunken galleys. These are the awakened Madonnas. It’s all beauty lost and found again.

    Iracema Arditi, Brazilian painter

The programme “Zgodbe izza obrazov” (“Stories from Behind the Faces”), aired on the First Channel of the national television RTV Slovenia.
Broadcast date: 23.7.2020

Click to watch the video

Exhibitions, awards and prizes

Irena Polanec is the recipient of numerous national and international awards and prizes.

View the complete list

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Motifs from the on-line shop

Works of the painter Irena Polanec have admirers in various techniques and forms on all continents, you can also order some of them yourself in our on-line shop.

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Between Paris and Slovenia

Irena Polanec was shaped by her time abroad, in Paris, which she chose as a very young girl in the 1970s as the place of her artistic dreams, hopes and self-affirmation, and where she spent a large part of her creative time.
Irena Polanec continues to confirm her talent as a painter in selected Parisian salons such as the “Salon des Artistes Français”, the “Comparaison” and the “Indépendant”, as well as in numerous exhibitions around the world.

More about Irena Polanec