20 September 2023 until 7 January 2024
ANNA AND MICHAEL ANCHER – TOGETHER AND SEPARATELY
In the autumn of 2023, continuing the exhibition series on artists’ homes, Ordrupgaard will be highlighting one of the most renowned and beloved Danish artist couples: Anna and Michael Ancher. This is the first time in recent years that an exhibition sets out to address both the artists and their partnership that blossomed in their Skagen home. The exhibition examines the artistic dialogue and sheds light on the similarities and differences between the two artists.
The starting point will be the painting Appraising the Day’s Work from 1883, which the artist couple painted together. In this picture, they depict themselves as practising artists of equal standing – entirely true to their real-life situation. A harmonious and respectful artistic partnership always emanated from their home, initially in the Garden House behind Brøndum’s Hotel and later at the address 2 Markvej, a rare occurrence at a time when women artists typically had to give up their careers as soon as they got married.
It was his search for a new artistic domain that brought Michael Ancher (1849–1927) to Skagen in 1874, where he met the local and artistically gifted Anna Brøndum (1859–1935). Based on motifs from Skagen and the journeys they undertook together, notably to Paris, where they were exposed to the newest movements in art, they were both to become significant representatives of the modern breakthrough in Denmark. Influenced by realism, Michael thus became a striking innovator of monumental Danish figurative art with his paintings of heroic fishermen on a rescue mission, for example, whilst Anna went beyond reality in her best works, boldly allowing light and colour to predominate, increasingly making her a pioneering figure of twentieth-century modernism.
The exhibition is curated by Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark, museum director and Dorthe Vangsgaard Nielsen, chief curator. It is accompanied by a catalogue, featuring articles by artistic consultant to the exhibition, Elisabeth Fabritius, senior researcher, MA; Peter Michael Hornung, art historian and art critic; and Andreas Bjerre, PhD fellow and curator at the Art Museums of Skagen.
The exhibition receives generous support from:
Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond
Anna og Michael Ancher, Appraising the Day’s Work, 1883. Statens Museum for Kunst, deposited at Skagens Kunstmuseer.
Anna and Michael Ancher, The Room with the Blue Curtains, ca. 1892. Skagens Kunstmuseer.