Home Magazine Paper, lines, inkblots: That sense of Asia in Harald Kröner's work

Known as a paper lover and collector, the German artist Harald Kröner takes us into his world made of lines, inkblots, drawings and collages: a tribute to the fascinating Asian culture and to an ancient material, in search of harmony between spontaneity and rigour. 

Related articles: The encounter between East and West, gesture and colourJoanne Freeman: the power of simplicityCarson Cartier: the complexity of the line

Born in Pforzheim, Germany, in the early 1960s, Harald Kröner began studying art at the Kunstakademie Stuttgart in 1984, under the guidance of the well-known painter, illustrator and printmaker Rudolf Schoofs, graduating in 1990. Since then, his work has become part of several German public collections, as well as international private collections in Germany, Switzerland, France, Australia and the United States. Since 2015 Kröner has been represented by the online gallery for contemporary abstract art IdeelArt.


Harald Kröner, Yappanoise 12, painting (2014), ink and enamel on paper, Courtesy of IdeelArt.


Observing Harald Kröner’s works, one immediately realises that paper is a sort of fetish for the artist: a well-known collector of this ancient material, whether artist’s paper, printed sheets or paper collected in his daily life, he has made it the absolute protagonist of his production, transforming it into drawings and collages. Paper is therefore the de facto expressive medium of his art, which the German artist adorns with coloured inks, sprays, enamels or lacquers.


Harald Kröner, K2003, mixed media (2020), mixed media and collage on paper, Courtesy of IdeelArt.


Kröner does not perceive this paper material as an empty surface, but rather as a material with which to explore its possibilities and potentialities, through a style that is clearly reminiscent of Asia. The element of chance, however, plays a fundamental role in his work, in a creative process that constantly explores the limit between risk – chance – and control – order. 

In his works, lines and marks become a kind of leitmotif, combining a series of gestures ranging from pencil strokes, to drops of ink dripping onto the canvas, to torn or cut edges of paper. The result is works that are also fascinating and intriguing in terms of aesthetic composition and colour, resulting in an experience that is both pleasurable and delicate for the viewer also from a visual point of view.

The reference to Asia, with its culture and traditions, is therefore evident in the artist’s use of both the paper material and what he uses to decorate it. 


Harald Kröner, 20.05.14, mixed media (2014), mixed media and collage on paper, Courtesy of IdeelArt.


This is joined by another inexhaustible source of stimuli and inspiration, which is literature. Take, for example, the series entitled “Yappanoise”, the title of which is inspired by one of the many neologisms coined by the Irish writer James Joyce and which appears in his last and well-known novel “Finnegans Wake”. The artist’s use of the neologism directly alludes to the essence of the work of art: Yappan recalls the Japanese ink used in the work, Yap indicates the explosions of scattered colour marks, and Noise refers to the sound of the colours.

Kröner thus entrusts the viewer with the perceptive responsibility of his works: it is in fact only the viewer who can observe and grasp the harmony created between the apparently bizarre and complex combination of different elements and textures found on paper. What intrigues him most is precisely the transition from the invisible to the visible and vice versa, where each spot of colour or line influences the drawing and its consequent perception. A sort of game that suggests spontaneity and freedom but at the same time rigour and conciseness.

Discover more about IdeelArt and Harald Kröner on Kooness.

Cover image: Harald Kröner studio, Courtesy of IdeelArt.

Written by Noemi Forte

Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.