For the past 3 years Ulrik Crone disappeared into his studio. On a quest to transform a memory of an emotional space into form. An opaque meditative idea about the relationship between space, emotion and memory had preoccupied him for some time. How can you possibly transfer a psychological landscape – part emotional experience, part dream, rooted in a physical space, into a medium that could be experienced by others. A classic artistic predicament. An artistic undertaking that is often underestimated. The artist as thinker, craft man, scientist, researcher and developer. Through thorough experimentation with different media Crone gradually developed and perfected the process behind his new body of work. A compound between painting and photographic processing.
Crone photographs with whatever fits the moment, large format cameras, handy pocket cameras or iPhone. From his photos, whether film or digital, he creates black and white negatives in either 45 x 65 or 33 x 46 cm. The negatives are 1:1 with the size of the work he intends to create. A thin layer of photo emulsion is painted on to wooden plates, primed only with a thin layer of oil paint, the negatives are mounted on the wooden plates in a dark room. The image from the negative is then transferred on to the wooden “canvas”. A temperamental transformation where negative, chemistry, oil and wood reacts. Once the wooden panels dry Crone paints into the surface once again and the works gain additional layers. In the new body of work Crone has worked predominantly with variations of ultramarine, silver, grey and black.
In the new series, Crone examines the periphery of urban and rural landscapes. The motifs are not picturesque in the classical sense. A gas station at an intersection, a winter road lined with bare trees, a mundane store front hidden by a haphazardly arranged wall of flowers, scooters on an empty neon lit street, the entryway to a non-descript metro station and the underpass of a highway bridge. Nothing to see here. Move along. This can’t be the place. So common that it feels wrong or even eerie. Why spend so much time and effort on rendering these mundane gaps or aesthetic glitches in our exciting and photogenic world. The works become almost confrontational in their norm core imagery. These are not destinations you will find on anybody’s top 10 lists, Instagram perfections or Facebook realizations. These works deal with the real. The beauty and blues of being human. The common and extraordinary shit we all must deal with. The imperfections, the lost minutes, blurred lines, anxieties, trivialities, the nine to five. Crone creates headspace in the new group of works. In the periphery there is a place for contemplation. Conversation. Exchange. Each work is a multi-dimensional emotional landscape where author and audience converge. And there is an overwhelming beauty in the sensation of sharing the human experience – especially the part that doesn’t photograph well. The 12 New Paintings are a welcome antidote to the groomed personal architecture so favoured by western civilisation at present.
Ulrik Crone, born 1964, lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was educated at The Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Crone has pursued a multidisciplinary artistic path as a visual artist, documentary filmmaker and radio talk show hosts. In all facets of his work he is preoccupied by social systems and often engages individuals or groups on what is perceived as the fringes of society. This is Ulrik Crone’s fourth exhibition with V1 Gallery.