Harald Kröner

Harald Kröner is a committed draftsman. He works on and with paper. For him, drawing is an everyday activity, a tool to capture existence, a means to grasp the present and its background noise. Everything already exists beneath the white surface of the paper, a material that fascinates him and which he collects. The collector and draftsman only has to trigger the revelation of latent elements and allow them to interfuse. He playfully gropes for constellations, for possibilities, and apparently barely intervenes at all. This means that he has to be open to what lies beyond his personal will, beyond his individual intellect and talent, it means taking the risk to give up control. Like John Cage, he considers artistic creation as an open process and as a means of connecting with the fundamental principles of being.

Even if chance and change play an essential role in Kröner's drawings they are by no means unstructured, arbitrary compositions. On the contrary, each series of works is the declination of specific visual and compositional ideas, as well as of distinct procedures. The artist always sets out from the material, its physical reality. This is true for many of his series, like Schnittzeichnung, cut, Schwarzwasser, canto, or again snow.

Having studied with Rudolf Schoofs at the Stuttgart Fine Arts Academy (1984-1990), Kröner's concern is not merely the inclusion of chance into the creative process. He is also, and even more, interested in the potential of change. Schoofs, too, described his works as "subjected to constant change for expansion and rediscovery". However, Kröner's position is above all reminiscent of the concept of indeterminacy developed by Cage, which the American artist distinguishes from the notion of chance. Further, similar to Cage, too, Kröner's creative process is guided by the stock of collected paper, as well as by random results of the techniques used. In a kind of circular studio economy, the collected material circulates "until it is released into diverse combinations". Hence, the guarantee for change is this kind of neutrality or objectivity, that enables every thing to be itself and allows its relationship with other things to occur naturally.

Kröner refers to drawing as a constantly growing reservoir of ideas, as a kind of energy cell. Accordingly the works having consecutive K-numbers as titles, which he created in the last two years, attempt to generate a link with the former individual work-blocks through cross-references and try to engender a polyphonic field of combined narratives. In these drawings the artist uses a wide variety of material combinations and makes material wander back and forth between different works like in a loop. Hence, some of the early drawings from the 1990s practically dissolve into more recent lacquer works. Smaller sheets and scraps of paper are collaged on top of and inside the traces leftover by former drawings. These "dirt traces" form graded frames for the newly added elements. The artist even inserts entire pages from art magazines, from which he has removed the images, into the drawings. He describes this as the creation of a "muted discourse echo", which he thus puts into a new context through drawing.

In his large-scale works Kröner nearly conceives of drawing as a panel painting. He also imagines the hanging of the works as an installation. Yet, he abstains from grand gestures and dramatic presentation. This is also true for his neon works, that represent calligraphic word games such as gracehoper (2015) or diasporation (2016). His lack of interest in the spectacular and his eye for detail, for the fragmentary and the unhandy poetic position him in proximity to draftsmen like Sylvia Bächli.
As with her, drawing expands beyond the edges of the paper and the fleeting trace of the draftsman's hand unfolds into space, where it suggests the possibility of alternative orders. Kröner's findings, indeterminate and intermediate, engender a set of allusions that unwieldily eludes the discourse. The artist's refusal of the unequivocally expressible and his affirmation of the inevitable intimate, endows his work with contemporary relevance and with a political stance.

Selected works

k2410, 2024
k2217, 2022
k2201, 2022
k2218, 2022
k2223, 2022
k2231, 2022
k2225, 2022
k2221, 2022
k2162, 2021
k2168, 2021
k2173, 2021
k2104, 2021
k2087, 2020
k2061, 2020
k20123, 2020


15.02.20, 2020
Zeichnen, 2017
snow, 2016
gracehoper, 2015


18 Virtues
18 Virtues, 2018
St. Martin, University Place Heidelberg, House of Encounter
St. Martin, University Place Heidelberg, House of Encounter, 2017
Alice, Pforzheim
Alice, Pforzheim, 2016
Center of the Village Niefern
Center of the Village Niefern, 2012
Peace Church Handschuhsheim
Peace Church Handschuhsheim, 2012
Kindergarten and Nursery, Karlsruhe
Kindergarten and Nursery, Karlsruhe, 2010

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