Vilhelm Hammershøi
22 March - 29 Juni 2003
Hamburger Kunsthalle shows the first Vilhelm Hammershøi
retrospective in Germany.


‘Hammershøi is not one of those one need talk about in a rush. His work is long and slow and at whatever moment one turns to it, it will always offer ample reason to talk about the most crucial and fundamental things in art.’
Rainer Maria Rilke, 1905

In his own lifetime he was one of the most celebrated artists in Europe. Thereafter his work descended almost fully into oblivion outside his home country, Denmark. But now, thanks to a comprehensive exhibition in Hamburg, the German public will be able to rediscover the pictures of Vilhelm Hammershøi (1864–1916).

In collaboration with the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen the Hamburger Kunsthalle will be showing over 60 paintings spanning all stages of Hammershøi’s artistic career. A key accent of the exhibition will be Hammershøi’s interior views of his own apartment in Copenhagen. Resembling a non-stop inner monologue he portrays in a few muted tones and with decisive geometrical stringency his sparsely-furnished flat. About these pictures the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: ‘His doors spit insults, the floorboards remain silent. It’s almost as if painting had departed, leaving the world behind it as an interior.’ Besides this aspect, the exhibition will also include Hammershøi’s deserted city views and landscapes, as well as his enigmatic nudes and portrait paintings.

While Hammershøi’s oeuvre speaks entirely for itself, it nonetheless contains visible references to turn-of-the-century Symbolist art movements that reach far beyond Scandinavia. Accordingly, the Hamburg exhibition will be enhanced by the inclusion of paintings by Hammershøi’s contemporaries such as Ferdinand Hodler, Fernand Khnopff, Edgar Degas, Emil Nolde and Félix Valotton. Within this dramatic context Hammershøi can be witnessed as a major protagonist of the Symbolist movement.

Only in the last few years has Vilhelm Hammershøi’s fascinating oeuvre regained international attention. Both the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the Guggenheim Museum in New York scored a major audience success with their Hammershøi retrospectives in 1997/1998. Opening on 22 March 2003, the Hamburger Kunsthalle’s exhibition of Vilhelm Hammershøi will offer a German audience the unique chance to rediscover this undeservedly forgotten artist.

The exhibition is under the auspices of
Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte.

more information www.visitdenmark.com


Hamburger Kunsthalle Glockengießerwall 20095 Hamburg
Telephone 040 - 428 131 200 Facsimile 040 - 428 54 34 09
e-mail: info@hamburger-kunsthalle.de