The Painter and her Model

Cronqvist, Lena, 1982

oil on canvas, 168,5x121cm, KODE - Bergen Art Museum

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.