Hammershøi: National Gallery of Denmark Part 1

by Leslie Hossack

62 1888, Interior. An Old Stove; The Old Jam Stove by Leslie HossackInterior. An Old Stove (1888)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen

74 1901, Interior in Strandgade, Sunlight on the Floor; A Room in the Artist's Home in Strandgade, Copenhagen, with the Artist's Wife by Leslie HossackInterior in Strandgade, Sunlight on the Floor (1901)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen

78 1902 A Room in the Artist's Home in Strandgade, Copenhagen, with the Artist's Wife (With A Woman Reading) by Leslie HossackA Room in the Artist’s Home in Strandgade, Copenhagen, with the Artist’s Wife (1902)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen

87 1909, Interior Artificial Light. Interiør. Kunstigt lys by Leslie HossackInterior Artificial Light (1909)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen

90 1910, Interior with the Artist's Easel by Leslie HossackInterior with the Artist’s Easel (1910)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), Copenhagen

all photographs © 2019 Leslie Hossack

The National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (Statens Museum for Kunst or SMK) holds a number of works by Vilhelm Hammershøi, which form a focal point in their collection. In the summer of 2019, the SMK hosted an exhibition titled There I Belong. Hammershøi by Elmgreen & Dragset.

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, two contemporary artists, were invited by the SMK to create an exhibition using Hammershøi as the jumping off point. The exhibition featured nine original paintings by Hammershøi including the five shown above, which were selected from the permanent collection of the SMK.

For the SMK Plus project, they [Elmgreen and Dragset] were particularly interested in some of Hammershoi’s recurring and most iconic motifs, specifically interiors featuring rooms behind rooms, doors propped more or less open, but also his recurring images of burning candles. 

Mikkel Bogh and Marianne Torp, There I Belong (2019)

One of the unexpected delights of this exhibition was the opportunity to view three works by Hammershøi unframed: the first piece above and the last two. It was fascinating to see how he had tacked the canvas around the support over 100 years ago.

Hammershøi’s oeuvre consists of interiors, landscapes, architecture, nudes and portraits. However, it was his interiors that were the most popular in his lifetime (1864-1916) and continue to draw the strongest response today. Hammershøi painted over 100 interiors in the various apartments he shared with his wife Ida in Copenhagen. Their home was both his studio and a major motif in his work.

Over a century ago, Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi elevated
“Stay At Home. Work At Home.” to an art form.

Leslie Hossack’s Hammershøi Photographs are part of a larger body of work that explores Hitler’s Berlin, Stalin’s Moscow, Mussolini’s Rome, Churchill’s London, contested sites in Jerusalem, the NATO Headquarter Camp in Kosovo, buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during WWII, the D-Day landing beaches of Normandy, the Nazi-occupied Channel Islands, Scotland’s Freemasons and Sigmund Freud’s Vienna.

To view more photographs by Leslie Hossack, please visit lesliehossack.com