The Ultimate Hammershøi exhibition in Copenhagen

Hammershøi is one of the most important and distinctive figures in the history of Danish art. Until now his European sources of inspirations have remained undiscovered, but not anymore – this spring, a major exhibition at The National Gallery of Denmark will shed new light on Hammershøi’s artistic endeavours. ”Hammershøi and Europe” marks the first time that a major selection of Vilhelm Hammershøi’s works are shown side by side with masterpieces by some of the greatest European artists of his day. The exhibition opens on February 4th 2012.

Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864-1916) has often been regarded as a singular, isolated figure within the Danish and European art scene, but the new exhibition „Hammershøi and Europe“ marks a break with this tradition. The exhibition at the National Gallery in Denmark aims to re-evaluate Hammershøi by taking a dual-sided approach. It offers a comprehensive presentation of Hammershøi’s own art, including a selection of his most important works. And it boasts very significant loans from across the world that juxtapose his paintings with paintings by some of the pre-eminent European artists of the day, including Whistler, Carrière, Fantin-Latour, Gauguin, Seurat, Khnopff, Puvis de Chavan-nes, Munch, and Bonnard.

Karsten Ohrt, director of the National Gallery in Denmark: “Hammershøi was not alone in the world. Our exhibition aims to demonstrate that several other artists of the time took similar approaches to depicting phenomena, such as atmosphere and existence, rather than narratives.The new exhibition will not only shed light on any direct inspiration that may have taken place between Hammershøi and his contemporary influences; it also points to how many artistic endeavours shared certain traits and affinities, thereby accentuating a number of obvious parallels between Hammershøi and several of his contemporaries, especially within the non-literary branch of the international Symbolist movement.”

Focus areas, film, and apps
A total of 90 works make up the exhibition, which opens by identifying the most prominent motifs and themes in Hammershøi’s art. Comprehensive archival and photographic materials about Hammershøi are featured prominently in the information supplied within the exhibition. The Gallery has also produced a film that relates the thoughts and concepts behind the exhibition, providing a visual flow that focuses on the associative links between various works. Prior to or after their visit, audiences can immerse themselves further in Hammershøi’s universe and story via a smartphone or iPod app and via the Gallery’s website.

Explore Hammershøi online
Over the course of the last 15 years, a number of retrospective exhibitions in Europe, USA, and Japan have firmly established Hammershøi’s position as of the most important painters from the period – an artist that explores loneliness, intimacy and alienation with a timeless and carefully restricted palette. You can learn more about Hammershøi online at: http://www.smk.dk/en/hammershoei

“Hammershøi and Europe” will be exhibited at The National Gallery of Denmark from 4 February – 20 May 2012.

After its run in Copenhagen, „Hammershøi and Europe“ will be shown at the Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung in Munich.

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