A prominent painter and associate professor at the San Francisco Art Institute for twenty years, Irene Pijoan was born in Lausanne, Switzerland. She was the daughter of Genevieve Bugnion and noted Catalan art historian and philosopher Jose Pijoan. Irene Pijoan's work has been shown both nationally and internationally, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and the Forum d'Art Contemporain in Sierre, in Switzerland. In California, her work has been shown at the Contemporary Arts Forum in Santa Barbara, the Oakland Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. She has permanent public installations at Highland Hospital in Oakland, at the Santa Clara Public Library and at the Harborview Medical Building in Seattle.