Biography

Fré Ilgen’s paintings, sculptures and mobiles depict a reality that is not a solid mass but a swirling movement of shifting relationships between abstract and figurative forms. Ilgen is influenced by both Western and Eastern philosophy and culture, such as the Baroque period and the Buddhist concept of sunyata. His interest in visual perception and neuroscience compels him explore themes that are visually powerful and his work, which varies from small-scale sculptures to monumental site-specific installations, comprises dynamic compositions that defy gravity and simulate continuous change. Ilgen’s works often trigger a sense of wonder and bewilderment in the viewer because they do not offer a singular narrative, but rather a fusion of the positive and negative.

Fré Ilgen is a unique figure in contemporary art world. He is not only a sculptor and painter, but also a theorist and curator. In 2011, he curated Mirrors of Continuous Change, an exhibition of global art in Seoul. His work is collected and exhibited widely in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia, including, most recently, in Frontiers Reimagined, a collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale.

Monographs, published in Europe, the United States and Asia, include Fré Ilgen: The Search, a major retrospective (2001), and To Be Free (2012). He also published the widely acknowledged books Art? No Thing! Analogies Between Art, Science and Philosophy (2004) and ARTIST? The Hypothesis of Bodiness (2014). He has led discussions about his books at Stony Brook University, The Phillips Collection, American University and the Goethe Centre Atlanta. Ilgen’s works and activities have garnered coverage by art magazines, newspapers, blogs and television programs across the globe. He moderates the award-winning “Checkpoint Ilgen” series, an art salon that he and his wife, Jacqueline, host at their home in Berlin.

Born in Winterswijk, Netherlands, 1956 | Lives and works in Berlin

World Sculpture News
Press
World Sculpture News
A song to the vitality of beauty January 2014

Netherlands-born, Berlin-based painter and sculptor Fré Ilgen makes art that speaks to the power of sculptural organization and materials. His sculptures are touched by both stillness and movement and reveal something of the responsiveness of art to the human dynamic.

The Edge Singapore
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The Edge Singapore
Space for Art October 2012

Curator Sundaram Tagore tells Aimee Chan why the new art development at Gillman Barracks is so current and important.

South China Morning Post
Press
South China Morning Post
Preview: Here and Now at Sundaram Tagore Gallery March 2009

Art historian Sundaram Tagore's doctoral thesis looks at Indian artists' response to European modernisation from the 1940s to 1980s. As a curator, however, his focus is more on the here and now. Hence the title of his gallery's latest group exhibition by 18 international artists, which opens today at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery's Hong Kong branch.

Modern Home
Press
Modern Home

The Standard
Press
The Standard
Home Where Art and Heart are for Gallerist Tagore

"Tagore's Galleries in New York, Los Angeles and now Hong Kong combine visual arts with other forms such as poetry reading, dance performances, music, films and charity funding."

Asian Art News
Press
Asian Art News
New Openings May/June 2008

"Gallerist Sundaram Tagore said, "All these artists have spent their lives working in and exploring different Eastern and Western cultures - including India, China, Nepal, Japan, Italy, Holland and America. Together they create an incredible mosaic and foster an intercultural dialogue that reflects a diversity of thought and artistic style."

Hi Blitz
Press
Hi Blitz
High Art in a Taxi Garage June 2006

"Fabulous art in a taxi garage? Sundaram Tagore a descendant of the illustrious Tagore family, himself an art historian, collector and connoisseur moved from his big gallery in Soho to an even bigger space - a 100-year-old garage in Chelsea."

Art & Antiques
Press
Art & Antiques
Mad over MADI May 2006

"...When MADi started, it was revolutionary..."

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