Dangerous Liaisons: Gudhjem – Berlin – Paris

19 January 2024

Special exhibtion in the villa

March 18th – October 19th, 2024

In the early 1930s, Gudhjem was the focal point of an artistic revolution: German Expressionism and French Surrealism, two of Europe’s most significant art movements, passed through the streets in just a few years and were captured in paintings, drawings and sculptures created by Oluf Høst, Sonja Ferlov, Richard Mortensen, Ejler Bille, Hans Øllgaard and Gustaf Munch-Petersen.

DANGEROUS LIAISONS: Gudhjem – Berlin – Paris showcases works created in the fishing village during these seminal years that spiritually connected Gudhjem with both Berlin and Paris.

When expressionism and surrealism crossed Gudhjem, Løkkegade 35 was still an artist’s home and not the Oluf Høst Museum we know today. It was the setting for the social and artistic life of the married couple Oluf and Hedvig Høst. The home was opened up to other artists as well, even if their views on the expression of art differed: Oluf Høst tied his expressionism to the coloristic ideas of the picture and he explored, individually, the nature around Gudhjem through immediate perception. He was in the midst of his international breakthrough. Based on encounters with the art of Vincent Van Gogh and Emil Nolde, color became a link between an external and an internal perception of the immediate environment for Oluf Høst.

The surrealists also explored the forests and coastline of Gudhjem. But they met at Brøddegade 38 and exchanged ideas about the methods and expressions of art. Their starting point was the French chief ideologist André Breton’s ideas about the unconscious life. The Surrealists put dreams, drives and instincts at the forefront of a new aesthetic ideal. They hoped to subvert existing society and create a better place for the whole person.

For both international art movements, it was all about setting people free, and both Oluf Høst and the Danish Surrealists turned to impulses from Berlin and Paris. This resulted in both brave and dangerous images.

The exhibition is organized by Bornholm Art Museum in collaboration with the Oluf Høst Museum.