Lena Cronqvist

Liljevalchs Konsthall

Extremely well-known within Scandinavia, Lena Cronqvist remains virtually unknown elsewhere. The massive retrospective of over 100 paintings and numerous drawings selected from work done between 1964 and 1994 accorded to her this fall testifies to the esteem in which she is held in her own country.

The character of Cronqvist’s work derives in part from a period of mental illness during which she received a series of shock treatments. Grotesque, childish, shocking, often stunningly beautiful, the pictures seem to belong neither to the mainstream nor to what has come to be called “outsider art.” Occupying no clear place in the tradition, these works nevertheless involve references to it—to Francis Bacon, Edvard Munch, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso. At the same time they stand resolutely outside, depending more on the private realm for meaning than on any given link or set of links to the

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