Arts and Gardens

Commentary on the bourgeois home

Geir Yttervik's painting is both a hommage to and a comment on the pictures created by Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi. Hammerhøi's interiors are greatly contrasted by the chaotic space seen in Yttervik's picture.

Geir Yttervik, 2007. Olje på lerret, 140 x 155 cm
Geir Yttervik, 2007. Olje på lerret, 140 x 155 cm
Alf Edgar Andresen

Main content

The title Strandgaten No. 3 is the address of the painter Vilhelm Hammershøi in Copenhagen. One hundred years after Hammershøi himself painted pictures of Danish bourgeois homes, Geir Yttervik made this painting as a commentary on his work. The starting point is a photo from a randomly selected movie, and Yttervik has painted an interior that is in stark contrast to Hammershøi’s neat rendering style.

Hammerhøi was known for painting tidy, sparsely furnished interiors of bourgeois living rooms. The brush strokes in Strandgaten No. 3 are broad, many of the objects unrecognizable. The room is not orderly and soberly furnished, rather it is overloaded with clutter. What does that suggest about the attitudes and lifestyles of the bourgeois today?

Geir Yttervik (1955-) often bases his paintings on a photograph, a video projection or a still from a movie. The pictures are often taken from the crime or thriller genre, and convey a frozen moment. The technique Yttervik uses is realistic, to the extent that he includes overexposure and noise from the original image. Yttervik views his paintings as natural products of today’s omnipresent mass media. His pictures have been purchased by the Norwegian National Gallery and Arts Council Norway.