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Larry Krone: Artist/Entertainer in St. Louis
Larry Krone, Wisdom Tooth Fool Dolls (4), 1993, my wisdom teeth, enamel paint, brass, sterling silver, silk, glass breads, 3 inches tall. Courtesy of the artist.

ST. LOUIS.- The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis presents Larry Krone: Artist/Entertainer, on view through December 31, 2006. Larry Krone: Artist/Entertainer is a 10 year overview of New York-based artist Larry Krone’s visual and performance art practice. Krone’s practice is based on personal experience, the everyday, and a distinct interest in marginal aspects of historic American culture. The installation, consisting of self-portraiture, sculpture, collected love songs, fabric pieces, stage costumes, documentation of performances, and a new metallic Mylar installation will be arranged thematically and aesthetically rather than chronologically. Known for his eclectic interests in music, performance, collecting, and vernacular culture Krone presents a compelling and entertaining look into love, loss, obsession, and family fun. Arranged salon style, visitors are invited to move through the exhibition (the years) much like one does a family photo album.

As a maker of art objects culled from the everyday (tin foil, vintage clothing, Jack Daniel’s bottles, quilts, handkerchiefs) and taken from the body (hair, teeth, nail clippings), Krone invests neglected domestic throwaways (and often grotesque) anew with labor intensive adornment (stitch work, glitter, beading). His objects retain the materiality and associative qualities of the original but lend a new articulation to the overlooked and marginalized. Things to soften (help avoid) life’s sadness and/or difficulty (pillows, love songs, alcohol, the hankie) combined with graphics, text, and signifying titles operate to address the joy and cruelty that exists simultaneously in individuals and variously expressed as heartfelt emotions. With simple clarity and a sense of humor and romance, Krone presents a fascination with love, intimacy, and memory and the disillusionment and failure of each.

Key to the presentation of his two and three dimension works are his keenly crafted performances where improvisation, country music, costume, music, and family meet amid lowbrow stages sets and themed constructed environments. The exhibition reflects Krone’s idiosyncratic creative musings wherein the combined energy of performance, song, objects, and written texts articulate longing through a fun and thoughtful consideration of the fleeting but without the irony and hard-edged cynicism so prevalent in contemporary culture. The exhibition Artist/Entertainer explores the multi-layers and transformative aspect of the creative process of Larry Krone that best presents the growth of one artist’s vision, practice, and processes as witnessed over a decade.

Larry Krone: Artist/Entertainer is organized by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and curated by Chief Curator Shannon Fitzgerald.

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