Otto Franz Krone: The Emerging Man
El Taller presents, "Otto Franz Krone – The Emerging Man – A Life's Work," an exhibition by the late artist, which runs from April 20th to June 9th, 2007. This expansive collection, which explores and celebrates Krone's obsession with faces and originality, will be on display in the city that finally gave the rootless artist a home.
Krone, born Eugene W. Hahn in Ohio in 1924 to an alcoholic boxer and artist housewife, spent most of his childhood in orphanages. A self-taught artist who worked in every medium, Krone found both personal escape and salvation in the faces he drew. His early pain was eclipsed by the brutality of World War II where he served in the 82nd and 101st Airborne, earning a Purple Heart as he gained an education in anguish.
He says it was the war that changed his art from portraits to visages of agony. Described by loved ones as a deeply passionate and compassionate man who carried a deep sadness within him, Otto spoke of the cluster of faces which would become "The Emerging Man" as "nightmare, all these faces would be talking, moving, crying, laughing and shouting." He painted the people crowding his mind to purge himself, literally painting them out of his mind. His true empathy and genuine love for people enabled him to express their sorrow as he articulated his own. When he spoke of the faces he saw and the unsmiling images he sketched and painted, one senses that he was also talking about, and painting, himself. Ultimately, his life's work is a journey – through orphanages, battlefields and prisons – and what finally emerges is a journey through the mind of a man for whom art was his whole life.