Ilona Lenard

www.lenard.nl
Ilona Lénárd is trained as a professional actress in the Academy for Theatrical Arts in Budapest. After that finished her second studies at the Willem de Kooning Academy for Visual Arts in Rotterdam as a sculptor. Since 1983 Ilona Lénárd has worked closely together with architect Kas Oosterhuis. They worked / lived in 1988-1989 in the former studio of Theo van Doesburg in Paris. Their design studio is in 2004 renamed into ONL [Oosterhuis_Lénárd]. After her studies Ilona Lénárd has received many grants to support her professional activities as a sculptor. Ilona Lénárd has been co-founder of the Attila Foundation [1993-1998] realizing the Sculpture City project in 1994 and the ParaSite project in 1996. Ilona Lénárd has been invited to lecture at universities and conferences in The Netherlands and abroad, focusing on her specific topics Artificial Intuition and Powerlines. She has been a visiting lecturer at Hyperbody at the TU Delft. Ilona Lénárd has realized a number of art projects in public space [Swinging Light Velp, Musicsculpture Oldemarkt, TT Monument Assen], she has exhibited and published internationally.

Artist statement
Powerlines
There are Lines and there are powerlines. A line is the trace of a moving point. Kandinsky states in his book “Punkt und Linie zur Fläche”: “The geometric line is an invisible being. The line is the trajectory of moving points.” The trajectory of the line is influenced by a number of internal and external forces working upon the line during the ultrashort time of the tracing process. Not all lines are powerlines. A deliberately drawn line is not a powerline. The power must come from the force with which the line is expressed. To me the power of a line comes from the speed with which is has been put on paper, or traced in 3d digital space. My powerline has a energetic driving force, just like the Formula I racers create their powerline along the race track. In my quick and intuitive sketches I do the same. I trace my personal powerlines by changing the course of the lines through intuitive acts upon the muscles of my arm and hand. I do not know exactly where my brush will go, but I do know that I have to drive it fast to allow the energy to pass through my hand directly to the canvas.

Building up the power
The power does not come just like that. You have to build up the energy, you must build up the power. Compare it again to the world of the Formula I, the way the drivers prepare for the race to reach pole position. As an artist preparing for the sketch I do much of the same. I test materials and tools, arrange the canvases in my studio. Then I prepare for the start, building up the energy for the powerlines, mobilizing my knowledge and experience I have been working for so hard, making my knowledge available for quick and intuitive actions. I must be prepared to build the shortcut between my intuition and my knowledge when expressing the powerline quickly and strong, unleashing the power. Speed is essential, it only takes one or two seconds to make the quick and intuitive gesture. There is no time for deliberate action, I rely completely on my intuition.

Monumental sculptures in public space
Always on the basis of my intuitive gestures I have realized a number of monumental sculptures in public space. The Music Sculpture in Oldemarkt is based on a 3d sketch, vaguely reminiscent of a folded oak leaf. The sculpture functions as a band stand in the park. The TT Monument is a fusion in speed of the racer and his motorbike. The sculpture is made of cast aluminum and touches the ground only with the back wheel making a “wheelie”. The Swinging Lights sculpture consists of 12 6m high carbon fiber rods placed in a pond, with LED lights in the top. The wind plays with the fibers as to make them move in a natural way.

Powerlines in architecture
On the larger scale my powerlines have formed the basis for facades and structural parts of realized buildings, and even for complete built structures. In the early days of the cooperation with Kas Oosterhuis I have realized a number of “dazzle paintings” for the facades of housing projects [Patio housing in The Hague, De Kassen in Amersfoort, “dancing facades” for De Hunze in Groningen]. Later we applied the concept of powerlines to complete buildings. The streamlined Waterpavilion [1997] and the Hydra structure inside are the first built proof of the fusion of art and architecture on the grand scale of the building. Then followed the interactive Handdrawspace installation at the Venice Biennale [2000], the design for the Web of North-Holland [2002], the 3d facade for the Fside housing project in Amsterdam [2007], the Wedding Chapel in Nanjing [2008], and ultimately the CET / Bálna mixed use center [2012] in Budapest.

Powerlines in product design
More and more I am also focusing on the development of products for the domestic and corporate interior.
I developed the inflatable vase iLITE, directly derived from one of my sketches for the FLOW series. Recently I started the development of the vase design in blown glass, working with the experts from the Czech Republic. Currently I am working on a series tufted carpets, based on FLOW series.

Recent autonomous paintings
My FLOW series [1998 – 2014], TANGLE series [2014] and POLYNUCLEAR series [2015] are paintings on canvas based on clusters of powerful gestures, all of them loaded with energy. The canvases are experienced as a weightless personal universe of varying density, seemingly popping out of the canvases, thus creating a tension between the dimensions. The FLOW, TANGLE and POLYNUCLEAR series display continuous variation, and therewith related to parametric design, where the procedure is given but not the values / parameters. The end result is always surprising, especially for myself. ! Want to surprise myself.

Robotic paintings
The robotic painting project titled “Machining Emotion” establishes a mutual relationship between human emotions and robotic machines. The robotic painting process is based on a series of consecutive steps, initiated by fast and intuitive 3d sketches executed by the artists using a 3d digitizer and the leap motion controller. From these initial sketches – the “powerlines” – essential data like speed, angular movements and emotive pressure are used to feed the code with variables. Within this process some algorithms are mapping fractal self-similarity on the initial emotive curve, and eventually the 3d assembly is projected on a flat surface. Last step is to instruct the robot as to machine the emotive content with high precision. The human to robot interplay augments the art of abstract calligraphy with a cross-fertilization of intuitive gestures with logical rationale. During the Dubai Design Week end of October 2015 I produced together with the Machining Emotion team 4 large circular paintings, each painting consisting of 3 panels. With these circular paintings we took advantage of the maximum reach of the robot.