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An Expressionist-Abstract Artist - Biography of Irene Balas

Irenebalas abstract artist

Irene Balas was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1928. Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna under Hans Hoffman and Karl Kaufman. Graduated with Master Degrees in the Arts, Art-Therapy and Psychology.

(1948) Received the National Prize of Austrian Painters in the "Kunsetlerhaus" where the Museum of Vienna acquired two of her paintings.

(1949) Emigrated to Chile where he acquired Chilean citizenship. She had several exhibitions (in Santiago de Chile, Valparaiso, Osorno, Valdivia, Concepcion, Puero Mont), received numerous awards in national competitions (National Prize, 1952). The Museum of Santiago and the University of Concepción bought several of his works.

(1955) By accepting the invitation of the German Embassy, went to La Paz, Bolivia. There she painted not only portrait of the president and the elite, but also the typical sceneries and natives of the country.

(1956-1958) The enchantment of the Inca Empire (The Lost Civilization) inspired her to paint in Peru (Lima, Cusco, Machu-Picchu).

(1959) Travelled to Bogota, Colombia for an art exhibit in the Museum of Luis Angel Arango. During her 15 years of residency in Colombia she had over 20 exhibitions not only in Bogota, but also in Medellin and Cali where the Museum of Luis Angel Arango purchased paintings from the exhibit. The Museum el Minuto De Dios "The Minute of God" commissioned her to paint three religious abstracts, which later were bought by the Vatican. Because of here constant dedication and the quality of her art, she was recognized by art critics as one of the best Colombian artists.

She was invited by the Spanish government to show her works in Madrid, London, Paris, Munich and Vienna.


(1973) The American Consulate in Colombia offered her a special visa to come to the United States. Due to some specific health reasons, (allergy in the eyes due to height in Bogota) she had accepted it.

She had exhibits in the most select galleries of New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Huston, Dallas, Palm Beach and Miami Beach.

Rockefeller and Henry Ford are also proud owners of her paintings in their personal art collections.

(1991) Irene Balas, by this time, became an internationally renowned artist, who was registered since 1991 in the Who’s Who in American Arts book.

(1992) She was commissioned to paint pictures about the “Hungarian Sailing Expedition around the World”, and exhibit her work in Budapest, Hungary.


(2013 March) Irene Balas passed away in her home-atelier at Miami Beach, Florida.

Ms. Balas was specializing in portraits, poetic and figurative abstract where she expressed her deep, profound emotions about life, space, and cosmic happiness.

In her artistic career Irene Balas passed through the style of classicism, realism, and impressionism until she arrived at the expressionist-abstract manifestation, or as stated by many critics, poetic, musical, mystical, abstractionism. Her style is unique and very individual, not only as a portrait painter, but also as an abstract artist, which she achieved through constant dedication to her art. She could paint in any style and with every media (oil, acrylic, water color, paste) but what really made her great is the way she was expressing her deep emotions on canvas with oil paint and gave the spectator a special, magnetic, sensation about her art that is part of an immortal beautiful universe.

Art critics praised her talent and success:

“Her elevated mystical vision gives the impression of cosmic orchestration and profound happiness. “

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