This winter, the Johannes Larsen Museum is showing a special exhibition with works by the great Bornholm painter Oluf Høst (1884-1966). We have been given a unique opportunity to borrow and exhibit the entire permanent collection from the Oluf Høst Museum in Gudhjem, while their museum is closed for the winter. In addition, we have secured a number of important loans from Bornholm’s Art Museum and from private owners that can be experienced in Kerteminde.
Oluf Høst is one of the heavyweights in recent Danish and Nordic art history. Høst’s intense, colorful, and original paintings remain on the retina of most people, and his works often have a dramatic and lyrical character. In particular, Høst’s paintings constitute an artistic characteristic of Bornholm, the artist’s birth island and dominant source of inspiration. Høst owned Bognemark Farm, a typical Danish farm with four “wings” and a courtyard in the middle. One of the wings, with its open barn door, has become a cultural icon, through the artist’s many, differing variations on this motif. But Høst’s rich catalogue of motifs also includes the typical round churches of Bornholm, the herring smoke houses, paraphrases inspired by Biblical motifs by old masters and cosmic visions of the constellation of Orion. The work selection gives a nice overview of his production from the early to late works, famous as well as lesser known images. From the experiments of youth, over the great and mature period, to the late, often more abstract images.
Oluf Høst belongs to the Bornholm painters, a somewhat less tightknit group of artists than the Funen painters. But the importance of geography binds things together, and Høst was a native and returned to his hometown and lived here for decades. And at the same time, as in Skagen and Faaborg/Kerteminde, there is talk of an artist colony, where the distinctiveness of the places, the local environment, and the human relation to nature played a major role. The museum at Nørresand in Gudhjem, where Høst lived with his wife Hedvig and their children, is located in the former artist home, and many of the motifs are taken from the immediate surroundings. Just as “Bornholmian” and personal Høst is in his art, just as universal are the qualities and attraction of his pictures. In short, a great experience awaits our guests with Oluf Høst in Kerteminde.
The Johannes Larsen Museum thanks all partners on Bornholm for a good collaboration on the exhibition in Kerteminde, which can hopefully contribute to further and mutual audience interest.