Born in 1933 in the Southern Hungarian city of Pécs, Ilona Keserü is a prominent artist of her generation. At the age of twelve, she began studying under Ferenc Martyn, a member of the Parisian Abstraction-Création group. She graduated in 1958 from the Painting Faculty of the University of Fine Arts in Budapest. Her travels in 1959–1960 to Poland and Prague and in 1962-1963 to Italy had a lasting influence on her practice. In the 60s and 70s she earned a living by designing stage sets and costumes, while she produced gesture paintings, canvases showing pure colour relationships, collages, and pictures on embossed canvas. In 1967 she discovered the heart-shaped tombstone forms of the cemetery in Balatonudvar, a motif that keeps returning in her work. In 1971-1973, she built the monumental work “Plastered Forms” in the Sculpture Park in Villány. In 1983, her first retrospective exhibition in a state venue was held at the Hall of Arts/Műcsarnok, and she started teaching at the university of Pécs. From 1991, she is a university professor, and a founder of the Pécs Academy of Art. In 2008, a retrospective exhibition of works made between 1982-2008 was held at the MODEM, Debrecen.
Elizabeth Dee Gallery