Vilhelm Hammershøi, Valdemar Schønheyder Møller and Photography
21 April - 22 August 2021
The exhibition EMERGENCES. Vilhelm Hammershøi, Valdemar Schønheyder Møller and Photography is about Vilhelm Hammershøi’s keen interest in photography, which he developed in close collaboration with friend and fellow artist Valdemar Schønheyder Møller. Hammershøi was fascinated with photography as a visual and aesthetic mode of expression, as a collector’s item and as an artistic tool, and he would himself take photographs while travelling and at home.
Focusing on selected themes, the exhibition explores how photography became crucial to the development of Hammershøi’s painting. In the mid-1880s, Vilhelm Hammershøi painted intimate close-up portraits of his sister Anna in a process of ongoing interaction with Valdemar Schønheyder Møller’s photographs of her. He used photography as a tool and to help capture his fiancée in a large portrait of Ida Ilsted from 1890. Similarly, he would cultivate photography’s contrasts between light and dark in several works throughout his artistic career.
At the same time, Hammershøi's works are notable examples of how a photographic eye can be discerned in the seemingly arbitrary croppings of his paintings, in their unusual perspectives and blurry areas. For Hammershøi, photography became one of the visual means used to develop his chosen subject matter, boldly examining issues pertaining to the artistic gaze and the emergence of new subjects on the verge of the twentieth century.
The exhibition presents photographs and paintings side by side. EMERGENCES not only presents a number of works from museums in Denmark and elsewhere, but also several works from private collections that have not been on public display for many years.
The exhibition is arranged in collaboration with Thielska Galleriet, Stockholm, where it will subsequently be on display.