Irma Cerese makes paintings because the act of manipulating colored paint on a canvas is an intense, visceral process for her, and she likes to see what develops as she does this. Color itself has always fascinated her and has formed the basis of all her work, starting with geometric abstractions. After awhile, it felt like something was missing in those, and she turned to landscape both as a point of connection and departure. She converts the primary elements of the world – trees, sky, ground, water, the occasional building, - into an underlying geometric structure. The resulting images often border on the abstract, only loosely connected to the subject that attracted her in the first place, although she does seek to evoke the general atmosphere of that subject. She aims to produce work that is compelling in its own right and a celebration of visual experience.
After her formal training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Cerese moved to New York City, where she maintained a studio until 1985. During that phase, Cerese was active in artist-run ventures and exhibited in several commercial galleries as well. Following a move to the Boston area, she spent several years away from art-related activities until she was able devote her energies exclusively to painting again. Irma currently lives and works in southeastern Massachusetts where she has exhibited in juried, invitational, group and solo exhibitions. Represented by Landing Gallery, Rockland, ME, with an annual solo exhibit, she also has work in several other New England galleries, as well as in Lagerquist Gallery in Atlanta, GA. Numerous people in the United States and Europe now own her work, often multiple pieces. Irma's paintings are also included in corporate and institutional collections