Ever since her debut in 1965 at Galerie Pierre in Stockholm, Lena Cronqvist has fascinated and moved people with her strong depictions of what it means to be human. Her paintings leave nobody unmoved. The pictures gnaw and chafe at you, and maybe it’s because we do not instinctively know how to relate to them that they stay with us long after we have viewed them. Her work incorporates both the tragic and the comic, and few artists manage to balance these opposite poles on a knife edge as well as Lena Cronqvist. Nor is the fact that the woman in the painting bears a resemblance to the artist herself so remarkable; using yourself as a model is simple, because the model is always available. Individual experience and the private sphere provide Lena Cronqvist with her inexhaustible source of inspiration. As an artist, she has painted her way through life’s ups and downs, arriving at something deeply human thanks to her own experiences. We encounter our own dreams and apprehensions in her work; we encounter memories, hopes and fears. But above all we encounter the lust for life.