b. Pittsburgh, PA

Shirley Irons is a New York-based artist who employs both photography and painting as a medium to depict fleeting environments with low levels of information using horizons, composition, and still life in search of the permanence of an image.

In Common Landscapes (2001) and Objects & Institutions (2003), Irons paints fragmented landscapes and stark urban interiors utilizing careful compositional organization to invoke the temporary state of vacancy and aloofness–a built environment for these transient spaces (freeways, hallways of institutions, airports, and galleries).

Irons balances realistic details with abstract applications of paint as well as photographic conventions to explore decisions about how much information is necessary to render an image.


1976 B.F.A. Parsons School of Design, NYC


2007- Instructor, Fine Art Department, School of Visual Arts
1999-2001 Lecturer, graduate special project class, New York University School of Art & Art Education
1993- Instructor, "Exploring Multimedia," School of Visual Arts, NYC
1993-1996 Co-director, Theoretical Studies in Art, a seminar series at White Columns

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2014 galleries, etc., Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA
2012 Saul Ostrow Presents: Shirley Irons, 21st Street Project Space, NYC
2010 Objects & Institutions, Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA
2009 A Perfect Day, Staniar Gallery, Washington and Lee University, VA
2006 Meadowland, Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA
2003 Common Landscape, Luisotti Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
2002 Tyler Gallery, Temple University, Philadelpha, PA
2001 Project: Painting-in-the-Floor, Postmasters, NYC
1998 Road Show, Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA
1992 White Columns, NYC
1985 Queens Museum, Queens, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions

2014 Whitney Biennial as part of Critical Practices, Inc., Whitney Museum, NYC
2013 The Way We Live Now, Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA
2012 Social Studies, La Conservera, Murcia, Spain
2011 Chain Letter, Samson, Boston, MA
Social Photography II, NYC
2009 Octet, Pera Museum, Istanbul
Night Town, Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA
2008 Thresholds of Visibility, Surface Library, Springs, Long Island, NY
2007 Brief Encounters, Caren Golden Gallery, NYC
The End(s) of Photography, MCDonough Museum of Art, Youngstown, Ohio
Holiday Shopping, Emily Harvey Gallery, NYC
2006 Now Voyager, Islip Museum, Long Island, NY
2005 On Paper, Pace University, NYC
Copilandia, Seville, Spain
Anthologie der Kunst, Academy of Art, Berlin
2003 Small Works, Marcel Scheiner Gallery, Hilton Head, NC
2001 Visibility, Fair, Murray Guy, NYC (w/Bill Adams and Judith Eisler)
2000 Trailer, Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, CA
I’m Still in Love with You, Steven Hull exhibition and LP publication, LA
Mapping the Imaginary, Hobart & Wm Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY
1999 Rita McBride, Sylvia Mangold, and Occasional Guests, Alexander and Bonin, NYC
1998 Disappearing Act, Bound & Unbound and Leslie Tonkonow, NYC
Valentine, Rosamund Felson Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
1997 Get Busy, P.S. 122, NYC
Blind Date, Cal Arts, Valencia, CA
Possessions, School of Visual Art, NYC
1996 The Baseball Show, Curt Marcus Gallery, NYC
Scratch, Threadwaxing Space, NYC
Conceptual Documents for Impossible Art, 473 Broadway, NYC
Blender V, Four Walls, artist/writer collaboration with Lydia Davis, NYC
1995 Jobs II, Four Walls at Ronald Feldman Gallery, NYC
Partly Sunny, Tomorrow, Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA
Division of Breath and Air, Patrick Callery, NYC (w/Uta Barth and Karin Davie)
1994 Untitled Installation, Hunter College Faculty Invitational, NYC
Between, University of Akron, traveling to Allegheny College
1993 Songs of Retribution, Richard Anderson Gallery, NYC
BOMB Benefit, Fawbush Gallery, NYC
Reversible World, B-4-A, NYC (3-person w/Laurence Hegarty and Lindsay Walt)
1992 Mr. B's Curiosity Shop, Threadwaxing Space, NYC
1991 Physical Relief, Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College, NYC
Bain Douche, Simon Watson Gallery, NYC, collaborative installation with Andrea Blum and Jeanne Silverthorne
1984-90 Fragments, Parts and Wholes, White Columns, NYC, Public Mirror, Clocktower, NYC, Bali Miller Gallery, NYC McNeil Gallery (Vanguard), Philadelphia; AIR Gallery, NYC; Solo Gallery, NYC; Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, NYC; DiMauro Gallery, NYC; Kamikaze, NYC; Printed Matter, NYC; Jack Tilton, NYC; PS l, Long Island City, NYC; De Facto, NYC, ABC No Rio


2013 L. A. Times, Christopher Knight, “A ‘Way’ that fully resonates”
Transformation, Art Papers, Artist Project, March/April
2012   “Draw it with your eyes closed: the art of the art assignment,” Paper Monument, eds.
2010 Shirley Irons, LA Times, April 16, 2010, Christopher Knight review of Luisotti show
Seen, Daily du Jour, April 5, 2010, Chris Stanton
Art Papers, Dinah Ryan(review of Staniar Gallery show), March/April
East of Borneo, inaugural issue
2009 “A Perfect Day,” catalog for exhibition, essay by Susan Morgan
2003   Jochen Gerz, L’Anthologie de ‘Art, Les Presses du Reel, French edition
C&R, online review of exhibition
2001  Art Monthly, review and reproduction, Michael Wilson, June 2001, no. 247
Time Out, review and reproduction, Andrea K. Scott
M. review and reproduction, “Bill Adams, Judith Eisler & Shirley Irons,” Merrily Kerr, May
Flash Art, “Exurbia,” Clayton Campbell, January/February
2000 “Between Rural and Suburban,” Los Angeles Times, 12/15/00, Christopher Knight
Baltimore City Paper, “A Few Words About 1,000 Pictures, Mike Giuliano, 11/8/00 (reproduction)
“Exurbia,” SantaMonica Mirror, 11/8/00
New York Times Magazine, Sunday 3/26/00, Mary Tannen
1998 LA Times, 10/16/98, Claudine Ise, review of exhibition
New York Times, 5/15/98, Holland Cotter, review of Disappearing Act
1996 New York Times, 7/26/96, Grace Glueck, review of the Baseball Show
Time Out, #45, 7/31-8/7/96, Linda Yablonski;
Village Voice, 7/23/96, Kim Levin
Isaak, Joanna, The Revolutionary Power of Women's Laughter, Ch. "Mapping the Imagination," Routledge
1995 Time Capsule, Creative Time
1993 Promotional Copy (artists' book organized by Robin Kahn)
1992     Tema Celeste, December, reproduction p. 7
Talk of the Town, NEW YORKER, March 23, 1992
Dictionary of Art Terms, ACME, Vol. 1, Spring (collaborative project)
1991     catalogue essay for Lewis Baltz retrospective, Rule Without Exception, UNM Press
1992, conceptual art calendar for BLAST magazine
1987         BOMB magazine, "In Her Own Voice," by Saul Ostrow, Fall issue
CODA magazine, Amsterdam, Summer issue
1986 Heresies #20 collective, co-editor, Political Activism

Awards and Honors


1983 New York State Council on the Arts (CAPS), Painting
1977-79 Teaching Assistantship, Lithography, Parsons School of Design