In relation to the exhibition, At Home with Hammershøi, Ordrupgaard presents a series of existing and new works by painter and author Erik Steffensen. In his book Within the Walls from 1997, Steffensen expresses his fascination with the Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi’s paintings accordingly he has worked in dialogue with Hammershøi’s artworks numerous times. The exhibition Hideaway explores the dialogue between Hammershøi’s paintings, the unique methodical compositions and Erik Steffensen’s own works.
Erik Steffensen (born 1961) is a Danish photographer, painter and writer. Additionally, he has been a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts since 1998. Although Steffensen often finds his motifs during his travels through foreign latitudes, they primarily relate to Nordic art traditions.
When Ordrupgaard, in connection with the marking of the centenary of Vilhelm Hammershøi’s death in 1916, was to move most of Hammershøi’s paintings to the temporary exhibition in the Zaha Hadid museum extension, Erik Steffensen got the opportunity to exhibit those of his works which engage in a dialogue with Hammershøi’s paintings on view.
Particularly the work Ungskov,Trørød, Summer, 1907 showed a ‘way ‘ into Hammershøi’s landscapes. Based on these landscapes, Erik Steffensen created the two monumental works, The Road and Anconcagua. With their uniform expression and almost graphical approach to landscape both works draw parallels to Hammershøis methodical compositions. In a text from one of his exhibition catalogues, Erik Steffensen describes Hammershøi’s landscapes and works as ‘silent ‘ and the great challenge of working with a dialogue between Hammershøi’s works and his own. Steffensen says: “It is a great challenge to be put in direct dialogue with the work, when just being in the same room as the work requires your attention. One can quickly come to seem a bit brash.”
The exhibition also show the series Can Lis created in Jørn Utzon’s house, of the same name, in Mallorca. Here, once again Erik Steffensen works with the “Hammershøi-method”. He moves slowly through the angles of the house, whilst using architecture as a composition principle and motif. The series is on view at Ordrupgaard’s stone passage which normally contains the museum’s collection of L.A. Ring and Theodor Philipsen’s paintings.