About Ingvar Cronhammar
- Born in 1947 in Hässleholm, Sweden
- Studies at the Århus Academy of Fine Arts from 1968 to 1971
From incendiary agitation...
During his early years as an artist, he was associated with the artists’ groups ZYGO and Sonde. The works from the early period have an overt satirical objective, offering a critique of contemporary society. The humour is direct and forceful, and the choice of materials is both startling and original. Wood, leather, bones, teeth, skin, and water are used in complex and demanding constructions that coalesce to form protests against the mediocrity and narrow-mindedness of the bourgeois. One example is the singing pigs’ heads in the work The Pigs are Coming; the Pigs are Here; They’re Singing, the Pigs (1976).
… to monumental art
Mediocrity is also under fire in the pieces created from the late eighties up until the present day, albeit in very different ways. In the work that marked his final breakthrough, The Gate (1988), Cronhammar introduces a unique vein of monumentality that would also permeate his subsequent works – as is evident in e.g. Juggernaut (1991, Danmarks Lærerhøjskole, Emdrup), Abyss (1999, Handels- og Ingeniørhøjskolen in Birk near Herning) and not least Elia (2001, Birk Center Park, Herning). Here you find huge machine bodies and unrelentingly aesthetic installations possessed of a refreshing lack of restraint in terms of both scale and elegance. Even the smaller sculptures have an industrial, persistently perfect finish that imbues them with a science-fiction-like, almost magical quality.
About Cronhammar’s works
Cronhammar’s works occupy the realm between the archaic and the futuristic, between the temple and the power plant. They seem alien, not made by human beings. Even so, they speak to us as human beings despite their booming silence. Their awe-inspiring, even fearsome appearance reminds us that there are forces bigger than ourselves in the world. They perform an exorcism which rips us out of our normal world, our usual way of seeing thing, confronting us instead with the sublime and the fantastic, but also with the inexorable: Death.