Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916)

1904, Hammershøi, Interior with Four Etchings, photo by Leslie HossackInterior with Four Etchings (1904)
Collection: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

1910, Sunshine in the Drawing Room photograph by Leslie HossackSunshine in the Drawing Room (1910)
Collection: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

photographs © 2019 Leslie Hossack

In 2020, governments the world over declared: “Stay-at-home. Work-at-home.” More than a century ago, Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) elevated this edict to a lifestyle and an art form.

In 2015, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (AGO) acquired Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi’s painting Interior with Four Etchings (1904). This was the first time one of his works entered a public collection in Canada. Then, in 2017, the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (NGC) acquired Sunshine in the Drawing Room  (1910).

To find out more about Vilhelm Hammershøi’s Sunshine in the Drawing Room at the NGC and how it inspired Leslie Hossack’s current series, please see the article in The National Gallery of Canada Magazine titled “Hammershøi to Hossack: Inspiration and Resources.”

Leslie Hossack photographed two paintings by Hammershøi in 2019 as they hung in situ, in Ottawa and Toronto. Hossack wrote: “I stood before these paintings transfixed. I was besotted. I was smitten.” And so began her quest to photograph his works abroad. The resulting “100 Hammershøis by Hossack” are featured here on Haute Vitrine.

Hammershøi’s oeuvre consists of portraits, nudes, landscapes, architecture and interiors, but it is his interiors, like the two shown above, that were 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.

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

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