Hammershøi: National Gallery of Canada

1901, Interior with Piano and Woman in Black by Leslie HossackInterior with Piano, Woman in Black. From the Artist’s Home at Strandgade 30 (1901)
Collection: Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen

1907, Interior with Cabinet Sofa. Interior by Leslie HossackInterior with Cabinet Sofa (1907)
Collection: Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen

1910, Interior with Seated Woman by Leslie HossackInterior with Seated Woman (c. 1910)
Collection: Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen

1913, The Tall Windows. Interior from the Artist's Home by Leslie HossackThe Tall Windows. Interior from the Artist’s Home, Strandgade 25 (1913)
Collection: Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen

1914, The Four Rooms by Leslie HossackThe Four Rooms. Interior from the Artist’s Home, Strandgade 25 (1914)
Collection: Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen

all photographs © 2018 Leslie Hossack

In 2018, the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (NGC) hosted an exhibition entitled Impressionist Treasures, featuring works from the Ordrupgaard Museum, Copenhagen. Among the 76 paintings were several from the Danish Golden Age, including five interiors by Vilhelm Hammershøi.

Leslie Hossack photographed these Hammershøi works as they hung in situ, in the NGC. Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi and his wife Ida lived in an apartment at Strandgade 30 in Copenhagen from 1898 to 1909. Then from 1909 to 1913, they lived at Bredgade 25. Finally the couple moved to Strandgade 25, where they remained until Vilhelm’s death in 1916. The first two images above reveal the interior of Strandgade 30 while the last two show the inside of the artist’s apartment at Strandgade 25.

Hossack wrote: “One enters Hammershøi’s private home, moves around his physical space and then slowly encounters one’s own soul… His genius is to seem to deal with the domestic while all the while dealing with the universal.”

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