Haute Vitrine

PHOTOGRAPHS by LESLIE HOSSACK

Hammershøi: National Gallery of Denmark Part 1

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

Hammershøi: National Gallery of Denmark Part 2

66 1890, Bedroom by Leslie HossackBedroom (1890)
Collection: Den Hirschsprungske Samling, Copenhagen

73 1899 Interior with a Young Woman Sweeping by Leslie HossackInterior with a Young Woman Sweeping (1899)
Collection: Den Hirschsprungske Samling, Copenhagen

84 1906-1908 Interior No. 30 Strandgade by Leslie HossackInterior No. 30 Strandgade (1906-1908)
Collection: ARoS – Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus

92 1911, Interior from Bredgade with the Artist's Wife by Leslie HossackInterior from Bredgade with the Artist’s Wife (1911)
Collection: ARoS – Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Aarhus

all photographs © 2019 Leslie Hossack

The four paintings by Vilhelm Hammershøi shown above were loaned to The National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (Statens Museum for Kunst or SMK) for their 2019 exhibition titled There I Belong. Hammershøi by Elmgreen & Dragset.

Hammershøi painted his first interior scene in 1888. The interiors shown here were created over a period of more than 20 years, from 1890 to 1911. In 1890, Vilhelm became engaged to Ida Ilsted and she became his main muse and model for the rest of his life. 

In his paintings, Hammershøi actively omits some of the furniture… This is to say that all his interiors are deliberately staged and arranged. In some of the paintings he includes Ida Hammershøi, almost always with her backed turned to the viewer or without making eye contact, her head bent over a book or crafts.

Exhibition Catalogue, There I Belong (2019)

Leslie Hossack photographed a total of 100 works by Hammershøi in Canada and Europe. Of these, 46 were interiors: 30 with a figure and 16 without. Reflecting on these 46 interiors, Hossack wrote: “Viewing his interiors is an intimate experience, whether his wife Ida is present or not. Hammershøi projected his inner world onto his canvases and there I met him.”

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

Hammershøi: National Gallery of Denmark Part 3

65 1889-1900, The Painter Kristian Zahrtmann by Leslie HossackThe Painter Kristian Zahrtmann (1889-1890)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

67 1890 The Art Historian Karl Madsen, Later Director of Statens Museum for Kunst by Leslie HossackThe Art Historian Karl Madsen, Later Director of Statens Museum for Kunst (1890)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

75 1901, The Artist Jens Ferdinand Willumsen. Study for Five Portraits by Leslie HossackThe Artist Jens Ferdinand Willumsen (1901)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

77 1901, Portrait of Svend Hammershoi, the Artist's Brother by Leslie HossackPortrait of Svend Hammershoi, the Artist’s Brother (1901)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

85 1907, Ida Hammershoi the Artist's Wife with a Teacup by Leslie HossackIda Hammershoi the Artist’s Wife with a Teacup (1907)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

all photographs © 2019 Leslie Hossack

These five portraits by Vilhelm Hammershøi were photographed by Leslie Hossack in The National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (Statens Museum for Kunst or SMK). They are among several Hammershøi pieces forming part of the SMK exhibition entitled Sun and Soul. As is typical with his portraits, these individuals are colleagues, friends and family members.

Vilhelm’s wife Ida was his most frequent model. In this 1907 portrayal of Ida, she appears exhausted, and certainly much older than in the portrait painted in 1890, the year of their engagement. She also seems a great deal more vulnerable than the four men.

Much has been written about the influence of photography on Hammershøi. It is known that he collected many photographs and there is conjecture that he may have worked from some photos when creating certain compositions. It is clear from Ida’s portrait above that, like a photographer, Hammershøi was very aware of the impact and sculpting characteristics of strong side light. Further, his understanding of light was more than just technical.

Even though photographs may not have formed part of Hammershøi’s process, a photographic awareness is embedded in the drawings and paintings; an awareness that the picture has captured more than can be registered at first glance: a mystery, a phenomenon, a memory arising, a play of line and light.

Annette Rosenvold Hvidt, “Living Inside The Painting,”
Hammershøi and Europe (2014)

Hammershøi’s oeuvre consists of portraits, landscapes, architecture, nudes and interiors. 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

Hammershøi: National Gallery of Denmark Part 4

68 1890-1892 View of Christiansborg Palace Late Autumn by Leslie HossackView of Christiansborg Palace Late Autumn (1890-1892)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

72 1896 Amalienborg Square, Copenhagen by Leslie HossackAmalienborg Square, Copenhagen (1896)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

79 1902, The Buildings of the Asiatic Company Seen from St. Anna Street by Leslie HossackThe Buildings of the Asiatic Company Seen from St. Anna Street (1902)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

86 1907, From the Old Christiansborg Palace by Leslie HossackFrom the Old Christiansborg Palace (1907)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

88 1908, The Harbour of Copenhagen Seen from Kvaesthusgade by Leslie HossackThe Harbour of Copenhagen Seen from Kvæsthusgade (1908)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

all photographs © 2019 Leslie Hossack

These five Copenhagen landmarks by Vilhelm Hammershøi were photographed by Leslie Hossack in The National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen (Statens Museum for Kunst or SMK). They are among several Hammershøi pieces forming part of the SMK exhibition entitled Sun and Soul.

The first three paintings above are much larger than many of Hammershøi’s works previously shown here on Haute Vitrine. View of Christiansborg Palace Late Autumn is 115.5 x 147.5 cm, Amalienborg Square, Copenhagen is 136.5 x 136.5 cm and Buildings of the Asiatic Company Seen from St. Anna Street is 146.5 x 140.5 cm. Hammershøi determined that the massive structures required big canvases.

He painted a succession of monumental pictures of historic Danish architecture, always shown as if the buildings stood in a ghost town; that is, quite without the street life that had typified the many Danish urban pictures of preceding decades, and without any hint of the social function the buildings had.

Kaspar Monrad, “Intense Absence,” Hammershøi and Europe (2014)

Hammershøi’s architectural paintings are the converse of his interiors. It is interesting to note that when painting these urban landmarks, he did not stand outside with his feet firmly rooted to the ground. Rather, he usually painted from a second story window, sealed inside his own world, far above the fray.

Hammershøi’s oeuvre consists of architecture, portraits, landscapes, nudes and interiors. 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

Hammershøi: National Gallery of Denmark Part 5

91 1911, Self Portrait, the Cottage Spurveskjul by Leslie HossackSelf Portrait, the Cottage Spurveskjul (1911)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

all photographs © 2019 Leslie Hossack

Self Portrait, the Cottage Spurveskjul (1911) is one of several self portraits painted by Vilhelm Hammershøi. In this composition, we clearly see the artist’s face, his paint brush and his surroundings. Filling the negative space is an open cottage door whose glass panes reflect yet another window in the room. It is interesting that this exterior door is open whereas many of Hammershøi’s interior paintings feature closed doors that appear to be inoperable.

Felix Kramer, Director General of the Kunstpalast in Dusseldorf, compares doors in Vilhelm Hammershøi’s interiors to the door in a print by Robert Longo entitled Interior Apartment Front Door with Bars (The Freud Cycle), 2004 (Galerie Michael Haas).

The print shows the hermetically sealed door at the Viennese psychiatrist’s and, not altogether by coincidence, recalls Hammershøi’s works.

Felix Kramer, “Vilhelm Hammershøi. Interior, Strandgade 30,”
At Home with Hammershøi, Ordrupgaard (2016)

Nor is it altogether by coincidence that Leslie Hossack’s series The Freud Photographs includes an image of that very same door. Barred Door in Vestibule, Freud’s Office, Berggasse 19, Vienna (2016) appears below.

Hossack commented: “When researching and photographing Freud’s Vienna and Hammershøi’s Copenhagen, and the life’s work of these two individuals, many similarities became apparent.”

Viewing Leslie Hossack’s Freud Photographs and Hammershøi Photographs in tandem, highlights the interiority of these men and their oeuvre. 

Barred Door in Vestibule, Freud’s Office, Berggasse 19, Vienna 2016 by Leslie HossackBarred Door in Vestibule, Freud’s Office, Berggasse 19, Vienna (2016), Leslie Hossack
Collection: Private Collection

Hammershøi’s oeuvre consists of architecture, portraits, landscapes, nudes and interiors. 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

Hammershøi: National Gallery of Denmark Part 6

70 1892, View of Jaegersborg Alle, Gentofte by Leslie HossackView of Jaegersborg Alle, Gentofte (1892)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

76 1901 Near Fortunen Jaegersborg Deer Park North of Copenhagen by Leslie HossackNear Fortunen Jaegersborg Deer Park North of Copenhagen (1901)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

80 1903, Sunshower Gentofte Lake by Leslie HossackSunshower Gentofte Lake (1903)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

82 1904, Tree Trunks, Arresodal Frederiksvaerk by Leslie HossackTree Trunks, Arresodal Frederiksvaerk (1904)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

83 1905, From Christianshavn's Canal Copenhagen by Leslie HossackFrom Christianshavn’s Canal Copenhagen (1905)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

all photographs © 2019 Leslie Hossack

Vilhelm Hammershøi’s landscapes, although devoid of people, pulsate with energy. The five paintings above share a palette and sensibility that is evident, even at first glance. They also share a theme, timber, which is portrayed as trees growing near roadways in the countryside and masts floating on ships in the harbour. The last two canvases above, Tree Trunks, Arresodal Frederiksvaerk and From Christianshavn’s Canal Copenhagen are identical in some ways. The rigging on the masts and the branches on the tree seem to echo each other.

Hammershøi did paint several pictures from Copenhagen Harbour… He stuck to the narrow canals of Christianshavn… One of these is From Christianshavn’s Canal Copenhagen… In this painting, which is a study for a larger picture, Hammershøi was interested in the compact pictorial structure created by the many lines of the rigging of the ships.

Kasper Monrad, “Intense Absence,” Hammershøi and Europe (2014)

Hammershøi’s oeuvre consists of landscapes, architecture, portraits, nudes and interiors. 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

Hammershøi: National Gallery of Denmark Part 7

63 1888, Woman Seen from the Back. Figure of a Woman by Leslie HossackWoman Seen from the Back (1888)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

64 1889, Seated Female Nude by Leslie HossackSeated Female Nude (1889)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

69 1891, Evening in the Drawing Room, The Artist's Wife and Mother by Leslie HossackEvening in the Drawing Room, The Artist’s Wife and Mother (1891)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

71 1893-1894 Artemis by Leslie HossackArtemis (1893-1894)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

81 1904, Evening in the Drawing Room by Leslie HossackEvening in the Drawing Room (1904)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

89 1909-1910, Female Model by Leslie HossackFemale Model (1909-1910)
Collection: Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

all photographs © 2019 Leslie Hossack

Vilhelm Hammershøi is best known for his empty spaces, both interiors and exteriors. However, many of his 377 paintings, drawings and sketches contain human figures, especially the female form. Above are six examples, all photographed by Leslie Hossack in 2019 in the National Gallery of Denmark, Copenhagen.

These six paintings are part of the permanent collection of the Statens Museum for Kunst (SMK), and each one is characterized by Hammershøi’s distinctive muted palette. He was a collector of photographs and he appears to have been influenced by the visual language and palette of comtemporary prints.

Hammershøi’s tone painting and coloristic aesthetic were clearly inspired by the photography of the day and the soft grayish-brown tone with which the photographers themselves tinted their pictures and endeavored to give them a “painterly” expression.

Henrik Wivel, Hammershøi in the David  Collection (2017)

Hammershøi’s oeuvre consists of landscapes, architecture, portraits, nudes and interiors. 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