Hammershøi: The 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