1963, 116x100cm, KODE - Bergen Kunstmuseum

Lena Cronqvist (b.1938) is one of Sweden’s most prominent living artists. She made her debut in a solo exhibition at Galerie Pierre in Stockholm in 1965, where among other things she exhibited a series of paintings with monkeys as the subject – with the work Nschyego included in this presentation. It is as if her intense, almost human portrayals of the monkey presage what would later become her most important hallmark as an artist; depicting the condition of human beings, both their vulnerability and strength. During the early sixties Cronqvist saw an exhibition of works by Francis Bacon at Liljevalchs konsthall in Stockholm. It was above all Bacon’s raw and direct portrayal of the isolated, solitary human being that made an impression on her, and that would have decisive significance for her development as a visual artist. Since her debut in 1965, Lena Conqvist has developed her project with extraordinary consistency and has been preoccupied with the condition of human beings in society and in private relations, whether this is depicted in brutally candid self-portraits, in ambivalent, disturbing depictions of mother and child, or in pictures of sweetly posing little girls, who upon closer inspection are occupied with malicious and grotesque games. 



oil on canvas, 1975, 169x125cm, KODE - Bergen Kunstmuseum

Lena Cronqvist (f.1938) is one of the most significant Swedish artists living today andMadonna (1976-77) is one of her major works.

Throughout her entire artistic career she has worked in a figurative and expressive idiom, and in various ways depicted close relationships that unfold within the confines of the home. In many cases the pictures evince a strong psychological interest and one of her main themes is the mother’s role and the child’s isolation and exposure. One often finds strong autobiographical elements in Cronqvist’s works; among other things she utilizes harrowing experiences from her own childhood and years growing up, as when her parents died.


The Painter and her Model

oil on canvas, 1982, 168,5x121cm, KODE - Bergen Kunstmuseum

Lena Cronqvist (b. 1938) is one of Sweden’s most prominent and significant living artists. She works in various techniques and has made a name for herself as a painter, graphic artist and sculptor.

Throughout her entire production she has concentrated on the familial and quotidian as themes for artistic treatment. She depicts and problematizes life as it evolves within the confines of the family; the maternal role, the relationship between children and parents, and the vulnerability of the child. A common feature of her works is a consistent psychological involvement and a desire to say something essential about the human condition.

Her mode of expression is figurative and can paradoxically be characterised as both expressive and reticent.

In The Painter and her Model from 1983 we see a naked female figure in a frontal position, which practically fills the entire pictorial space. She stands in a rigid posture, like a statue, and gazes with blunt antagonism at us the viewers. The picture can be perceived as an unflinching self-portrait in which Cronqvist depicts herself laid bare, without clothes and with her mask fallen to the floor.