Lena Cronqvist biography

photo: Mattias Lindbäck

Born in Karlstad, Sweden 1938 I Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden

 

From Giotto to Ionesco, from Becket to New York Boogie Woogie – the links between literature and art history are plenty in the works of Lena Cronqvist. Since the mid-sixties Cronqvist has been stellar to the Swedish art scene. Active in a variety of media her artistry runs via painting on to textile works and sculpture. Despite tradition-bound techniques and crafts, such as egg-oil tempera and oil on canvas or bronze castings, Cronqvist’s boldness is apparent in her artistry. Not least is her bravery visible in her daring colorings. Through a somewhat naivistic expressionism her brush strokes and palette contrast to the often sore and harsh contents. Cronqvist re-introduced the private and the personal in a Swedish climate dense with political slogans and general do’s and dont’s. She opted to depict deindividualized hospital environments, suburban Madonnas and girls involved in morbid games, hinting towards reversed power relations in bourgeois family constellations. Supposedly biographical and most likely necessary subject matter in the ideologically suffocating environment that constituted the late sixties, early seventies Swedish art world. Portrayals of anguish and suffering are frequent subject matters in Cronqvists works.  Still, they are always rendered in the tempered and yet intense tonality associated with the renaissance, amounting to atonement.

 

Lena Cronqvist studied at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm (1959 - 1964) and at the College of Arts - University College of Arts, Craft and Design (1958 - 1959). Her work have been exhibited extensively in international and Swedish exhibitions at Liljevachs, Stockholm, Sweden; Norrköping Art Museum, Sweden; Proarta Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland; Forum Gallery, New York, and at Nancy Margolis Gallery, New York, United States.