Magazine article Tate Etc.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby on Vilhelm Hammershøi's Interior 1899

Magazine article Tate Etc.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby on Vilhelm Hammershøi's Interior 1899

Article excerpt

Though Vilhelm Hammershoi may have intended the focus of his painting to be the woman (his wife Ida), my gaze gravitates to the exquisitely rendered doors, especially the one on the left. He deftly defines the door and its frame's geometric topography with an economy of means, subtly shifting shades and temperatures of the colour white. Scott Noel, one of my teachers at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, said that an all-white painting was one of the hardest challenges a painter could undertake, since the artist has to come up with multiple variants of the colour that are close enough to each other still to read as white and at the same time distinct enough to separate from one another. Here, Hammershoi creates an all-white painting of the doors within the larger composition, all the while working with a limited palette.

This compounding of rectangles inside rectangles reminds me of Josef Albers's Homage to the Square series. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.