Ilona Keserü



Painter. From 1946 she studied with Ferenc Martyn. Between 1952-58 she was a student at the College of Fine Arts. Masters: László Bencze and István Szőnyi. She was a significant figure of the neo-avant-garde generation of artists starting in the mid-60s, member of the IPARTERV group and the Budapesti Műhely. After graduating from the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, she discovered contemporary abstract art, continuing the painterly world of her childhood master, Ferenc Martyn, with her early pictures.


A significant turning point in her career was her stay in Italy in 1962-1963. The energetic, tangled calligraphies of Zsilett's drawings, made around this time, gradually lead to her large gestural paintings (Numbered pictures) in the mid-60s, whose strong red-orange-black color replaces the dark-toned monochrome of the earlier pictures. In 1966, she started designing sets (Peter Weiss: The Investigation, National Theater), her theater works play an important role in her space and object shaping activities. In 1967, she discovered the heart-shaped tombstones of the Balatonudvar cemetery, which became the central motif of her paintings for a long time. Around 1969, plastic shaping appeared in her art in the form of canvas embossing and textile appliqués. The initially unpainted works are gradually covered by Keserü's colors typical of the 70s: the rainbow colors arranged in geometric patterns, then the shades of the neutral human body color that complement them.


From 1971, she creates graphics, on which she varies the form of the tombstone motif transformed into a characteristic wavy line (Formative Space). From 1975 to 1979, she was a member of the Budapest Workshop. She received her first monumental commission in 1974, which has since been followed by several others. Since 1982, she has been concerned with new optical problems: the afterimages that appear on the retina of the closed eye.


Since 1983, she has been teaching at the Teacher Training Faculty of the Janus Pannonius University in Pécs, in 1990 she started working on the foundation of the Master School of Fine Arts in Pécs, where she has been a professor since 1991, and since 1995 she has been the head of the Doctor of Fine Arts (DLA) program. In 1986, she was a guest teacher at the College of Fine Arts in Cergy Pontoise (FR), and in 1988 she participated in the Art Olympiad in Seoul.


In the works made in the second half of the 80s, the motifs of her previous creative periods appear again: calligraphic gestures, canvas reliefs and rainbow colors. In her most recent works, forms, colors and movements that are distant from each other in time live side by side.


Her works can be found in important collections such as Center Pompidou Paris, Metropolitan New York.

Related artworks

Baroque drawing (1976)

Ilona Keserü

6,000 USD