My book Powerlines is a comprehensive documentation of my paintings from the period between 1998 and 2019. I have worked in different locations and cultures, which is reflected by the gradual evolution from the Flow paintings to the Pattern series. As from the Flow series I have predominantly worked with acrylic markers with a wide tip, that are typically used by graffiti artists. I have adopted a working method that can be described as a form of abstract calligraphy. Also, elements of procedural painting can be found in my work. I spread out the canvases on the ground, working all around and on the painting as to add layer by layer. The most recent Pattern paintings are documented in the beginning of the book, while the earlier Flow series are found towards the end. A special place in this book is reserved for the Machining Emotion robotic paintings, a collaborative effort together with architects and designer-programmers, working with a large industrial robot to hold and drive the acrylic markers.
Gestures > Paintings > Carpets
The speed of my gestures is essential to my working process, I want to avoid deliberate thinking, I need to surprise myself while painting.
I paint with speed and force by releasing intuitive and energetic series of procedural gestures, leaving traces of acrylic markers and pattern rollers on the canvases.
I spread out the canvas on the floor of the studio,
I work around and on the painting, adding layer by layer to achieve a universal depth in the painting.
The tufted carpets are digitally constructed interpretations of my earlier paintings
Exhibition Intuition and Procedure at FBQ Museum | Qatar
Looking at Ilona’s paintings and carpets / tapestries one feels a tension between dimensions. Working on a flat surface as a painter she creates a tension between the surface of the painting and a three-dimensional world.
Working in three dimensions as a sculptor she typically sets up a reverse tension with flat surfaces. Ilona builds her personal universes in the voltage fields between the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional.
The titles that are given to the paintings reveal their intention: the Polynuclear series, the Tangle series, the Omniverse series, and more recently the Q series. Whereas Q stands for quantum, as well as for Qatar, where the recent paintings were made.
The paintings are the opposite of metaphorical, they do not have the intention to even remotely look like an universe, they are the direct expression of series of gestures, intuitively smashed on the canvases, using wide tipped acrylic markers.
The speed of the operation is essential to the working procedure of Ilona, since she wants to avoid deliberate thinking, she wants to surprise herself. And by that intuitive procedure she succeeds in taking us as the viewers by surprise, therewith orchestrating an immersive form of serendipity.
Ilona works with large canvases on the ground, circling around the canvas and even stepping into the canvas while marking her fast and furious gestures around her, thus building her personal universe. There is no up and down in her universe, no front or back, her paintings are universal in the true sense of the word. Only after the paintings are made the decision is made how to mount the painting on the wall.
Meaning and metaphors are not intended by the artist, and not imposed on the viewer. Now it is up to the eyes of the beholder to jump freely into these rich multi-layered universes, surprising in their levels of detail.
Standing in front of the large paintings, walking towards them and zooming in into them is a rewarding experience, as one starts to float freely in the evoked three dimensional space, feeling the power of the strokes.
Not accidently Ilona refers to her intuitive gestures as powerlines, that are put on the canvas with force and speed. The power she has forced upon the continuous gestures is gratefully received back by the viewer when navigating her universal paintings.
Ilona’s paintings gives us the feeling of being infinitely small and unlimitely powerful at the same time. One is happily caught is the voltage field between the dimensions.
The Victory Boogie Woogie painting by Mondrian is clearly inspired by the busy streets and urban blocks of Manhattan. In her recent 3d printed series of MyMondrian Ilona Lénárd pushes Mondrian’s last unfinished painting into the third dimension, therewith evoking the image of urban blocks and street canyons.
The colour fields of the Victory Boogie Woogie are translated using Rhino / Grasshopper visual programming into different heights for the smaller and bigger squares. The path of the 3d printing head is designed to randomly wiggle and sway along its course as to avoid a too clinical build-up of the layers.
The first 3d printed version is the MyMondrian Black, produced by 3D Robot Printing in Rotterdam. A black polypropylene mix is pumped into the printed end-effector of a big robot arm, which printed layer for layer the large work of art in a number of pieces that fit together to form the whole.
For the printing procedure pure gcode was written by ONL / Hyperbody alumnus Arwin Hidding, therewith bypassing proprietary firmware with its built-in limitations how to operate the robot arm. The challenge set by the artist directly inspired a technical innovation in 3d robotic printing !
The jacquard woven tapestries MyMondrian Day and MyMondrian Night designed by visual artist Ilona Lénárd.
The year 2017 is the Mondrian year, celebrating 100 years of De Stijl. Having lived and worked in the studio Theo van Doesburg in 1988-89, Ilona Lénárd feels emotionally connected to the work of Piet Mondrian of De Stijl movement, especially to his latest work the Victory Boogie Woogie.
The Victory Boogie Woogie painting by Mondrian is clearly inspired by the busy streets and urban blocks of Manhattan. In her new series of the Jacquard woven tapestries MyMondrian Ilona Lénárd pushes Mondrian’s last unfinished painting into the third dimension, therewith evoking the image of urban blocks and street canyons. The colour fields of the Victory Boogie Woogie are translated using displacement mapping technique into different shades of gray.
The MyMondrian wall tapestries have exactly the same dimensions as the original Victory Boogie Boogie, 127 x 127 cm, diagonally positioned.
MyMondrian Day and Night are on show at Design Days Dubai in Design District D3 from 13-17 March 2017, presented by the Dutch Creative Industry [DCI], and at the Salone del Mobile from 4-9 April, presented by Masterly at the Palazzo Francesco Turati in the center of Milan.
My Omniverse tapestries were shown during the inauguration of the Dutch Design Center in the Design District [D3] in Dubai in 6th of December 2016.
Machining Emotion FFF | Future Flux Festival 3 June 2016 | Onderzeebootloods at RDM Campus in Rotterdam | 10m long robotic painting