gracehoper not only forms the title of the exhibition, but is also present within it as a neon sign, which was produced from a handwritten template by the artist. At the same time, the word “gracehoper” is a made-up word, a creative play on the word “grasshopper” – one of many in James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake”. So as you attempt to think your way into the – also thoroughly meaningful – “hoper for grace”, the grasshopper is forever hopping nearby.
Kröner has previously produced a whole series of works in the public space, and as much as text has always played an important role here, he has tended to keep texts out of the exhibition context so far. Thus the neon sign represents a new cross-connection.
In the current exhibition Kröner continues to exhibit works from three series of drawings: schwarzwasser, monophthong and cut.
"monophthong" relates loosely to "yappanoise" – his first series of large-format pen-and-ink drawings, in which carefully balanced flowing lines in various shades of grey together with creases and swarms of coloured marks created airy spaces with large empty surfaces.
The works from the "monophthong" series are smaller – they are developed by chopping up a very large paper work, the individual pieces of which are processed further. This way, the original state is destroyed and reversed, and the original drawing fans out into any number of new ones.
Kröner is investigating how the typical large empty spaces and the long flowing lines, indeed the breath of the large drawing, can ultimately remain preserved again in the small version. This is also reflected in the series’ title: “monophthong” is the single-sound vowel, the smallest unit of speech.
In "schwarzwasser" (“black water”), the current series of large-format paper-based works, the entire surface is coated with a glossy layer of varnish and is simply made rhythmic by a few ridges. Thanks to their curvatures, these become light-catchers and reflect the surrounding light in ever-varying forms. On the surfaces between these ridges, tiny fragments from the most varied of origins are placed, and often the black glossy varnish has entirely penetrated these during its long drying process, so that they have semi-disappeared into the skin, almost like tattoos. The overall effect is that of chance distribution in a black river, which takes these picturesque remains with it.
The fragments used stem from the artist’s material finds, and are often processed again and again and extracted from other graphic contexts. Sometimes they are printed, sometimes we might see a piece torn out of an art magazine or a bit of fish skin. In one of the latest exhibitions, a critic found the little word “dead” in a black varnished work and made the presumption that these works might be about Blackwater and the machinations of the arms industry – for Kröner an interesting foray into a sample space that he seems to deliberately broaden without, however, setting out a political statement; rather he lays out tracks for the observer. Here, in many regards schwarzwasser becomes a reflective projection surface.
Harald Kröner has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions and is represented in renowned private and public collections.