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Vilhelm Hammershøi. Light and Silence 04.03-08.05.2022 Vilhelm Hammershøi. Light and Silence

In spring 2022, Krakow will host for the first time an exhibition presenting the work of Vilhelm Hammershøia (1864-1916), an artist considered to be the most outstanding Danish painter of the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Krakow exhibition is the result of collaboration with the National Museum in Poznan, where the first show took place (21 November 2021 - 23 January 2022). The exhibition project of the two national museums has received the patronage of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, professor Ph.D. Piotr Gliński. The Danish partner of the exhibition is the Statens Museum for Kunst, while the whole undertaking has been included in the "Polen-satsning" programme of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.

A selection of Hammershøi’s paintings and drawings, as well as archival photographs related to his life and work, are presented at the National Museum in Krakow from distinguished Danish collections (Statens Museum for Kunst, Den Hirschsprungske Samling, Museum Sønderjylland, Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Randers Kunstmuseum , Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Brandts Kunstmuseum, Det Kongelige Bibliotek), Swedish (Malmö Konstmuseum), Norwegian (Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo), Finnish (Atheneum Art Museum, Helsinki), French(Musée d'Orsay, Fondation Custodia) and Dutch(Balcony Room in Spurveskjul from the collection of Boijmans Museum, Rotterdam). The exhibition also offers an opportunity to learn about Hammershøi’s works belonging to the private collection of Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. that are rarely on public display.

The Krakow exhibition includes paintings and drawings representative of Vilhelm Hammershøi's oeuvre. Their careful selection makes it possible to explore the artistic development and to learn about the most significant themes present in the art of the Danish painterof pauses, silences and spaces "in between." The layout of the exhibition is built around key themes: interiors, landscapes and cityscapes, portraits and self-portraits, and nudes. Its beginning is marked by a section devoted to the theme of interiors and intimacy, explored by Hammershøi seeking to capture the atmosphere and mood of an interior. In the next part there are equally unusual landscapes and city views, in which the artist has recorded the old architecture of Copenhagen and London with the use of variable perspective and intriguing way of framing. The final part of the exhibition presents nudes and works on paper. These works were created at various stages of Hammerhøi's artistic development, and thus include works and studies from his time at the academy as well as interior compositions and portraits treated as autonomous works - such a selection makes it possible not only to trace this development but also to explore the role of drawing in the painter's creative process. The narrative of the exhibition is created by a selection of photographs - a medium essential to Hammershøi, who willingly experimented with the way of framing and light effects characteristic of this technique. Two annexes are important additions to the exhibition. The first one is devoted to the artist's biography, while the second one, created in cooperation with the Centre for Art Technological Studies and Conservation in Copenhagen, enables the exploration of the secrets of his workshop.

The exhibition offers the public of the National Museum in Krakow the opportunity to explore the oeuvre of one of Scandinavia's most intriguing painters. Hammershøi's narratively restrained, colourfully refined, contemplative art conceals subtle content relating to the everyday life of the painter and his loved ones. Its multifaceted nature also encompasses a whole range of timeless, intimate emotions invariably inscribed in human existence, including a sense of loneliness, alienation and a desire to take refuge from a disturbing reality.


concept and scenario, curator of the exhibition: Martyna Łukasiewicz
curator of the Kraków edition: Aleksandra Krypczyk-De Barra
coordinator of the Krakow edition: Ewa Kalita-Garstka
arrangement: Magdalena Bujak

Autor: Aleksandra Krypczyk-De Barra

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