Edward Hopper

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Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper, Self-Portrait, 1906
Born July 22, 1882(1882-07-22)
Nyack, New York
Died May 15, 1967 (aged 84)
New York City
Nationality American
Field Painting
Works Automat (1927)
Chop Suey (1929)
Nighthawks (1942)
Office in a Small City (1953)
Influenced by Robert Henri

Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882May 15, 1967) was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. In both his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life.[1]


[edit] Biography

[edit] Early Life

Hopper was born in upper Nyack, New York, a yacht-building center north of New York City, the only son of comfortably well-off middle class family. His parents, mostly of Dutch ancestry, were Garret Henry Hopper, a dry-goods merchant, and his wife Elizabeth Griffiths Smith.[2] Though not as successful as his forebears, Garrett provided well for his two children with considerable help from his wife’s inheritance, and he retired at age forty-nine.[3] Edward and his only sibling Marion attended both private and public schools, and were raised in a strict Baptist home.[4] Owing in part to his father’s mild nature, the household was dominated by women—his mother, grandmother, sister, and maid.[5]

Hopper was a good student in grade school and showed talent in drawing at age five. He readily absorbed his father’s intellectual tendencies and love of French and Russian culture and demonstrated his mother’s artistic lineage.[6] Hopper’s parents encouraged his art and kept him readily supplied with materials, instructional magazines, and illustrated books. By his teens, he was working in pen-and-ink, charcoal, watercolor, and oil—drawing from nature as well as making political cartoons.[7] In 1895, he created his first signed oil painting, Rowboat in Rocky Cove, which demonstrated his early interest in nautical subjects.[8]

In his early self-portraits, Hopper tended to represent himself as skinny, ungraceful, and homely. Though a tall and quiet teenager, his prankish sense of humor found outlet in his art, sometimes in depictions of immigrants or of women dominating men in comic situations. Later in life, he would be drawn mostly to depicting women in his paintings.[9] In high school, he dreamed of being a naval architect, but after graduation he declared his intention of following an art career. Hopper’s parents insisted that he study commercial art so he could have a more reliable means of income.[10] In developing his self-image and individualistic philosophy of life, Hopper was influenced by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson, as he stated later, “I admire him greatly…I read him over and over again.”[11]

Hopper began his art studies with a correspondence school in 1899. Soon, however, he transferred to the far more prestigious New York Institute of Art and Design. There he studied for six years, with teachers including William Merritt Chase who instructed him in oil painting.[12] Early on, Hopper modeled his style after Chase and French masters Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas.[13] Sketching from live models proved a challenge and a shock for the conservatively raised Hopper.

Another of his teachers, artist Robert Henri, taught life class. Henri encouraged his students to use their art to "make a stir in the world". He also advised his students, “It isn’t the subject that counts but what you feel about it” and “Forget about art and paint pictures of what interests you in life.”[14] In this manner, Henri influenced Hopper, as well as famous students George Bellows and Rockwell Kent, and motivated them to render realistic depictions of urban life. Some artists in Henri's circle, including another teacher of Hopper’s, John Sloan, became members of “The Eight”, also known as the Ashcan School of American Art.[15] His first existing oil painting to hint at his famous interiors was Solitary Figure in a Theater (c.1904).[16] During his student years, Hopper also painted dozens of nudes, still lifes, landscapes, and portraits, including his self-portraits.[17]

In 1905, Hopper landed a part-time job with an advertising agency, where he did cover designs for trade magazines.[18] Much like famed illustrator N. C. Wyeth, Hopper came to detest illustration, but was bound to it by economic necessity until the mid-1920’s.[19] He temporarily escaped by making three trips to Europe, each centered in Paris, ostensibly to study the emerging art scene there. In fact, however, he studied alone and seemed mostly unaffected by the new currents in art, later stating that he “didn’t remember having heard of Picasso at all.”[20] He was highly impressed by Rembrandt, particularly his Night Watch which he said was “the most wonderful thing of his I have seen, it’s past belief in its reality.”[21]

He initially started out doing urban and architectural scenes in a dark palette. Then he shifted to the lighter palette of the Impressionists before returning to the darker palette that he felt most comfortable with. Hopper later stated, “I got over that and later things done in Paris were more the kind of things I do now.”[22] Hopper spent much of his time drawing street and café scenes, and going to the theater and opera. Unlike many of his contemporaries who imitated the abstract cubist experiments, Hopper was attracted to realist art. Later, however, he admitted to no European influences except for the work of French engraver Charles Meryon, whose moody Paris scenes Hopper imitated.[23]

[edit] Years of struggle

Summer Interior (1909)

After returning from his last European trip, Hopper rented a studio in New York City. His exposure to many styles of art seemed to do little to help him find his own distinctive style. Reluctantly, he returned to illustration. Being a free-lancer, Hopper was forced to solicit for projects, and had to knock on the doors of magazine and agency offices to find business.[24] His painting languished, “it’s hard for me to decide what I want to paint. I go for months without finding it sometimes. It comes slowly.”[25] His fellow illustrator Walter Tittle described Hopper’s depressed emotional state in sharper terms, seeing his friend “suffering…from long periods of unconquerable inertia, sitting for days at a time before his easel in helpless unhappiness, unable to raise a hand to break the spell.”[26] In 1912, Hopper traveled to Gloucester, Massachusetts, to seek some inspiration and did his first outdoor paintings in America.[27] He painted Squam Light, the first of many lighthouse paintings to come.[28]

In 1913, at the famous Armory Show, Hopper sold his first painting, Sailing (1911), which he painted over an earlier self-portrait.[29] Hopper was thirty-one, and though he hoped his first sale would lead to others in short order, his career would not catch fire for many more years to come.[30] Shortly after his father’s death that same year, Hopper moved to the Greenwich Village section of New York City, where he lived for the rest of his life. The following year he received a commission to make some movie posters and handle publicity for a movie company.[31] Though he did not like the illustrative work, Hopper was a life-long devotee of the cinema and the theater, both of which became direct subjects for his paintings and which made a direct impact on his compositional methods.[32]

At an impasse over his oil paintings, in 1915 Hopper turned to etching, producing about 70 works, many of urban scenes of both Paris and New York.[33] He also produced some posters for the war effort, as well as continuing with occasional commercial projects.[34] When he could, Hopper did some outdoor watercolors on visits to New England, especially at the art colonies at Ogunquit, Maine, and Monhegan Island. His etchings around 1920 began to get public recognition and expressed some of his later themes, as in Night on the El Train (couples in silence), Evening Wind (solitary female), and The Catboat (simple nautical scene).[35] Two notable oil paintings of this time were New York Interior (1921) and New York Restaurant (1922).[36] He also painted two of his many “window” paintings to come, Girl at the Sewing Machine and Moonlight Interior, that show a figure (clothed or nude) near or gazing out a window of an apartment or viewed from the outside looking in.[37]

[edit] Breakthrough and mature career

Road in Maine (1914)

By 1923, Hopper’s slow climb finally produced a breakthrough. He re-encountered his future wife Josephine Nivison, an artist and former student of Henri, during a summer painting trip in Gloucester. They were opposites: she was short, open, gregarious, sociable, and liberal, while he was tall, secretive, shy, quiet, introspective, and conservative.[38] They married a year later. She remarked famously, “Sometimes talking to Eddie is just like dropping a stone in a well, except that it doesn’t thump when it hits bottom.”[39] She subordinated her career to his and shared his reclusive life style, which for the rest of their lives revolved around their spare walk-up apartment in the city and their summers in South Truro on Cape Cod. She managed his career and his interviews, was his primary model, and remained his life companion.[40]

With Jo’s help, six of Hopper’s Gloucester watercolor paintings were admitted to an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum in 1923. One of them, The Mansard Roof, was purchased by the museum for its permanent collection for the sum of $100.[41] The critics generally raved about his work; one stated, “What vitality, force and directness! Observe what can be done with the homeliest subject.”[42] Hopper sold all his watercolors at a one-man show the following year and finally decided to put illustration behind him.

The artist had demonstrated his ability to transfer his attraction to Parisian architecture to American urban and rural architecture. According to Boston Museum of Fine Arts curator Carol Troyen, "Hopper really liked the way these houses, with their turrets and towers and porches and mansard roofs and ornament casting wonderful shadows. He always said that his favorite thing was painting sunlight on the side of a house." [43]

At forty-one, Hopper finally received the recognition he deserved, but he continued to harbor bitterness about his career, later turning down appearances and awards.[44] His financial stability now secured, Hopper would live a simple, stable life and continue creating art in his distinctive style for four more decades.

His Two on the Aisle (1927) sold for a personal record $1,500, enabling Hopper to purchase an automobile, which he used to make field trips to remote areas of New England.[45] In 1929, he produced Chop Suey and Railroad Sunset. The following year, art patron Stephen Clark donated House by the Railroad (1925) to the Museum of Modern Art, the first oil painting it acquired for its collection.[46] Hopper painted his last self-portrait in oil around 1930. Though she posed for many of his paintings, Jo Hopper modeled for only one oil portrait, Jo Painting (1936).[47]

Hopper fared better than many other artists during the Great Depression. His stature took a sharp rise in 1931 when major museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, paid thousands of dollars for his works. He sold thirty paintings that year, including thirteen watercolors.[48] The following year he participated in the first Whitney biennial, and he continued to exhibit in every annual and biennial at the museum for the rest of his life.[49] In 1933, the Museum of Modern Art gave Hopper his first large-scale retrospective.[50] The Hoppers built their summer house in South Truro in 1934.

Hopper was very productive through the 1930’s and early 1940’s, producing among many important works including New York Movie (1939), Girlie Show (1941), Nighthawks (1942), Hotel Lobby (1943), and Morning in a City (1944). During the late 1940’s, however, he suffered a period of relative inactivity. He admitted, “I wish I could paint more. I get sick of reading and going to the movies.”[51] In the two decades to come his health faltered and he had several prostate surgeries and other medical problems.[52] However, in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, he created several more major works, including First Row Orchestra (1951), as well as Morning Sun and Hotel by a Railroad, both in 1952, and Intermission (1963).[53]

Edward Hopper died in his studio near Washington Square in New York City in 1967. His wife, who died 10 months later, bequeathed their joint collection of over three thousand works to the Whitney Museum of American Art.[54] Other significant paintings by Hopper are at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Des Moines Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

[edit] Hopper’s art

[edit] Subjects, themes and methods

Girl at Sewing Machine (1921)

With his paintings, Hopper paid particular attention to geometrical design and the careful placement of human figures in proper balance with their environment. He was a slow and methodical artist, as he wrote, “It takes a long time for an idea to strike. Then I have to think about it for a long time. I don’t start painting until I have it all worked out in my mind. I’m all right when I get to the easel. [55] He often made preparatory sketches to work out his carefully calculated compositions. He and his wife kept a detailed ledger of their works noting such items as “sad face of woman unlit”, “electric light from ceiling”, and “thighs cooler”.[56] For "New York Movie" (1939), Hopper demonstrates his thorough preparation with over fifty three sketches of the theater interior and the figure of the pensive usherette.[57]

The effective use of light and shadow to create mood is also central to Hopper’s methods. Bright sunlight (as an emblem of insight or revelation), and the shadows it casts, also play symbolically powerful roles in Hopper paintings such as "Early Sunday Morning" (1930), "Summertime" (1943), "Seven A.M." (1948), and "Sun in an Empty Room" (1963). His use of light and shadow effects have been compared to the cinematography of film noir.[58]

Hopper derived his subject matter from two primary sources: one, the common features of American life (gas stations, motels, restaurants, theaters, railroads, and street scenes) and its inhabitants; and two, seascapes and rural landscapes. Regarding his style, Hopper defined himself as “an amalgam of many races” and not a member of any school, particularly the “Ash Can” school.[59] Once he achieved his mature style, his art remained consistent and self-contained, in spite of all the art trends that came and went during his long career.[60]

Hopper’s seascapes fall into three main groups: pure landscapes of rocks, sea, and beach grass; lighthouses and farmhouses; and sailboats. Sometimes he combined these elements. Most of these paintings depict strong light and fair weather. He showed little interest in snow or rain scenes, or in seasonal color changes. He painted the majority of the pure seascapes in the period between 1916 and1919 on Monhegan Island.[61] Hopper’s The Long Leg (1935) is a nearly all-blue sailing picture with the simplest of elements while his Ground Swell (1939), is more complex and depicts a group of youngsters out for a sail, a theme reminiscent of Winslow Homer’s iconic Breezing Up (1876).[62]

Urban architecture and cityscapes were also major subjects for Hopper. He was fascinated with the American urban scene, “our native architecture with its hideous beauty, its fantastic roofs, pseudo-gothic, French Mansard, Colonial, mongrel or what not, with eye-searing color or delicate harmonies of faded paint, shouldering one another along interminable streets that taper off into swamps or dump heaps.” [63]

In 1925, he produced House by the Railroad. This classic urban work depicts an isolated Victorian mansion and marked Hopper’s artistic maturity. Critic Lloyd Goodrich praised the work as “one of the most poignant and desolating pieces of realism.”[64] The work is the first of a series of stark urban and rural scenes that uses sharp lines and large shapes, played upon by unusual lighting to capture the lonely mood of his subjects. Though a realist painter, Hopper’s “soft” realism simplified shapes and details, and he used saturated color to heighten contrast and create mood. Though critics and viewers interpret meaning and mood in these cityscapes, Hopper insisted “I was more interested in the sunlight on the buildings and on the figures than any symbolism.”[65] As if to prove the point, his late painting Sun in an Empty Room (1963) is a pure study of sunlight.[66]

Most of Hopper's figure paintings focus on the subtle interaction of human beings with their environment—carried out with solo figures, couples, or groups. His primary emotional themes are solitude, loneliness, regret, boredom, and resignation and he demonstrates these emotions in various environments, including the office, in public places, in apartments, on the road , or on vacation.[67] Like stills for a movie or tableaux in a play, Hopper positioned his characters as if they have been captured just before or just after the climax of a scene.[68]

Hopper’s solitary figures are mostly women—dressed, semi-clad, and nude—often reading or looking out a window, or in the workplace. In the early 1920’s, Hopper painted his first such pictures Girl at Sewing Machine (1921), New York Interior (another woman sewing) (1921), and Moonlight Interior (a nude getting into bed) (1923). However, Automat (1927) and Hotel Room” (1931) are more representative of his mature style, emphasizing the solitude more overtly.[69]

As Hopper scholar Gail Levin wrote of “Hotel Room”:

“The spare vertical and diagonal bands of color and sharp electric shadows create a concise and intense drama in the night…Combining poignant subject matter with such a powerful formal arrangement, Hopper’s composition is pure enough to approach an almost abstract sensibility, yet layered with a poetic meaning for the observer.”[70]

Hopper’s Room in New York (1932) and Cape Cod Evening (1939) are prime examples of his “couple” paintings. In the first, a young couple appear alienated and uncommunicative—he reading the newspaper while she idles by the piano. The viewer takes on the role of a voyeur, as if looking with a telescope through the window of the apartment to spy on the couple’s lack of intimacy. In the latter painting, an older couple with little to say to each other, are playing with their dog, whose own attention is drawn away from his masters.[71] Hopper takes the couple theme to a more ambitious level with Excursion into Philosophy (1959). A middle-aged man sits dejectedly on the edge of a bed. Beside him lays an open book and a partial clad female. A shaft of light illuminates the floor in front of him. Jo Hopper noted in their log book, “the open book is Plato, reread too late”. Levin interprets the painting:

Plato’s philosopher, in search of the real and the true, must turn away from this transitory realm and contemplate the eternal Forms and Ideas. The pensive man in Hopper’s painting is positioned between the lure of the earthly domain, figured by the woman, and the call of the higher spiritual domain, represented by the ethereal lightfall. The pain of thinking about this choice and its consequences, after reading Plato all night, is evident. He is paralysed by the fervent inner labour of the melancholic.” [72]

In Office at Night (1940), another “couple” painting, Hopper creates a psychological puzzle. The painting shows a boss focusing on his papers while nearby his curvaceous secretary pulls a file. Several studies for the painting show how Hopper experimented with the positioning of the two figures, perhaps to heighten the eroticism and the tension. Hopper presents the viewer with the possibilities that the boss is either truly uninterested in her obvious appeal or that he is working hard to ignore her. Another interesting aspect of the painting is how Hopper employs three light sources.[73] Hopper went on to make several “office” pictures, but none with a sensual undercurrent.

Nighthawks (1942)

The most well-known of Hopper's paintings, Nighthawks (1942) is one of his group paintings and shows customers sitting at the counter of an all-night diner. Again, the shapes and diagonals are carefully constructed. The viewpoint is cinematic—from the sidewalk, as if the viewer in approaching the restaurant. The diner's harsh electric light sets it apart from the dark night outside, enhancing the mood and subtle emotion.[74] As in many Hopper paintings, the interaction is minimal, though the counterman seems to be having a few words with the man facing him. The restaurant depicted was inspired by one in Greenwich Village. Both Hopper and his wife posed for the figures, and Jo Hopper gave the painting its title. The inspiration for the picture may have come from Ernest Hemingway’s short story The Killers, which Hopper greatly admired, or from the more philosophical A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.[75] In keeping with the title of his painting, Hopper later stated that “Nighthawks” has more to do with possibility of predators in the night than with loneliness.[76]

His second most recognizable painting after Nighthawks is another urban painting, Early Sunday Morning (originally called “Seventh Avenue Shops”), which shows an empty street scene in sharp side light, with a fire hydrant and a barber pole as stand-ins for human figures. Originally he intended to put figures in the upstairs windows but left it otherwise to heighten the feeling of desolation.[77]

Hopper's rural New England scenes, such as Gas (1940), are no less meaningful. "Gas" represents "a different, equally clean, well-lighted refuge.... ke[pt] open for those in need as they navigate the night, traveling their own miles to go before they sleep."[78] The work presents a fusion of several Hopper themes: the solitary figure, the melancholy of dusk, and the lonely road.[79]

Hopper approaches Surrealism with Rooms by the Sea (1951), where an open door opens to the ocean without an apparent ladder or steps.[80]

After his student years, Hopper’s nudes were all female. Unlike past artists who painted the female nude to glorify the female form and to highlight female eroticism, Hopper's nudes are solitary women who are also psychologically exposed.[81] One audacious exception is Girlie Show (1941), where a red-headed strip-tease queen strides confidently across a stage to the accompaniment of the musicians in the pit. "Girlie Show" was inspired by Hopper's visit to a burlesque show a few days earlier. Hopper’s wife, as usual, posed for him for the painting, and noted in her diary, “Ed beginning a new canvas—-a burlesque queen doing a strip tease—-and I posing without a stitch on in front of the stove—-nothing but high heels in a lottery dance pose.”[82]

Hopper's portraits and self-portraits were relatively few after his student years.[83] Hopper did produce a commissioned “portrait” of house, The MacArthurs’ Home (1939) , where he faithfully details the Victorian architecture of the home of actress Helen Hayes. She reported later, “I guess I never met a more misanthropic, grumpy individual in my life.” Hopper grumbled throughout the project and never again accepted a commission.[84] Hopper also painted Portrait of Orleans (1950), a “portrait” of the Cape Cod town from its main street.[85]

Though very interested in the Civil War and Mathew Brady’s battlefield photographs, Hopper made only two historical pictures, both depicting soldiers on their way to Gettysburg. [86] Also rare among his themes are paintings showing action. The best example of an action painting is Bridle Path (1939), but Hopper’s struggle with the proper anatomy of the horses may have discouraged him from similar attempts.[87]

Hopper’s last oil painting, Two Comedians (1966), aptly focuses on his love of the theater. Two French pantomime actors, one male and one female, both dressed in bright white costumes, take their bow in front of a dark stage. Jo Hopper confirmed that it was her husband’s deliberate intention to depict the figures this way in order to suggest the act of taking their life's last bows together as husband and wife.[88]

[edit] Personality and vision

New York Restaurant (1922)

Always reluctant to discuss himself and his art, Hopper simply summed up his art by stating, “The whole answer is there on the canvas.”[89] Hopper was stoic and fatalistic—a quiet introverted man with a gentle sense of humor and a frank manner. Conservative in politics and social matters, he accepted things as they were and displayed a lack of idealism. Cultured and sophisticated, he was well-read, and many of his paintings show figures reading.[90] He was generally good company and unperturbed by silences, though sometimes taciturn, grumpy or detached. He was always serious about his art and the art of others, and when asked would return frank opinions.[91]

In more general terms, Hopper stated “Great art is the outward expression of an inner life of the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world. The inner life of a human being is a vast and varied realm.”[92] Though he claimed that he didn’t consciously embed psychological meaning in his paintings, he was deeply interested in Freud and the power of the subconscious mind. He wrote in 1939, “So much of every art is an expression of the subconscious that it seems to me most of all the important qualities are put there unconsciously, and little of importance by the conscious intellect.”[93]

[edit] Place in American art

In focusing primarily on quiet moments, very rarely showing action, Hopper employed a form of realism adopted by another leading American realist Andrew Wyeth, but Hopper’s technique was completely different from Wyeth’s hyper-detailed style.[94] In league with some of his contemporaries, Hopper shared his urban sensibility with John Sloan and George Bellows but avoided their overt action and violence. Where Joseph Stella and Georgia O’Keeffe glamorized the monumental structures of the city, Hopper reduced them to everyday geometrics and he depicted the pulse of the city as desolate and dangerous rather than “elegant or seductive”.[95]

Charles Burchfield, whom Hopper admired and whom he was compared to, said of Hopper, “he achieves such a complete verity that you can read into his interpretations of houses and conceptions of New York life any human implications you wish.”[96] He also attributed Hopper’s success to his “bold individualism…In him we have regained that sturdy American independence which Thomas Eakins gave us, but which for a time was lost.” [97] Hopper considered this a high compliment since he considered Eakins the greatest American painter.[98]

Though compared to his contemporary Norman Rockwell in terms of subject matter, Hopper didn’t like the comparison. Hopper considered himself more subtle, less illustrative, and certainly not sentimental. When his wife commented on the figure in Cape Cod Morning “It’s a woman looking out to see if the weather’s good enough to hang out her wash,” Hopper retorted, “Did I say that? You’re making it Norman Rockwell. From my point of view she’s just looking out the window.”[99] He also rejected comparisons with Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton stating “I think the American Scene painters caricatured America. I always wanted to do myself.”[100]

[edit] Influence

Hopper's influence on the art world and pop culture is undeniable. Though he had no formal students, many artists have cited him as an influence, including Willem de Kooning, Jim Dine, and Mark Rothko.[101] An illustration of Hopper’s influence is Rothko’s early work Composition I (c. 1931`), which is a direct paraphrase of Hopper’s Chop Suey.[102]

Hopper's cinematic compositions and dramatic use of light and dark has made him a favorite among filmmakers. For example, House by the Railroad is reported to have heavily influenced the iconic house in the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho.[103] The same painting has also been cited as being an influence on the home in the Terrence Malick film Days of Heaven. German director Wim Wenders also cites Hopper influence. [104] His 1997 film The End of Violence incorporates a tableau vivant of Nighthawks, recreated by actors. Noted surrealist horror film director Dario Argento went so far as to recreate the diner and the patrons in Nighthawks as part of a set for his 1976 film Deep Red (aka Profondo Rosso). Ridley Scott has cited the same painting as a visual inspiration for Blade Runner. To establish the lighting of scenes in the 2002 film Road to Perdition, director Sam Mendes drew from the paintings of Hopper as a source of inspiration, particularly New York Movie.[105]

Homages to Nighthawks featuring cartoon characters or famous pop culture icons such as James Dean and Marilyn Monroe are often found in poster stores and gift shops. The cable television channel, Turner Classic Movies, sometimes runs animated clips based on Hopper paintings prior to airing its films. Hopper's painting, New York Movie, was featured in the television show, Dead Like Me. The girl standing in the corner resembles Daisy Adair. In a 1998 episode of "That '70s Show" titled 'Drive In,' Red and Kitty settle in at a diner and create a reproduction of "Nighthawks."

Musical influences include singer/songwriter Tom Waits's 1975 live-in-the-studio album titled Nighthawks at the Diner, after the painting. In 1993, Madonna was inspired sufficiently by Hopper's 1941 painting, "Girlie Show", that she named her world tour after it and incorporated many of the theatrical elements and mood of the painting into the show. In 2004 British guitarist John Squire (formerly of The Stone Roses fame) released a concept album based on Hopper's work entitled Marshall's House. Each song on the album is inspired by, and shares its title with, a painting by Hopper. Canadian rock group The Weakerthans released their album Reunion Tour in 2007 featuring two songs inspired by and named after Hopper paintings, "Sun in an Empty Room", and "Night Windows", and has also referenced him in songs such as "Hospital Vespers". Polish composer Paweł Szymański's Compartment 2, Car 7 for violin, viola, cello and vibraphone (2003) was inspired by Hopper's Compartment C, Car 193. Hopper's painting "Early Sunday Morning" was the inspiration for the sleeve of British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's 1985 album, "Crush"

Each of the twelve chapters in New Zealander Chris Bell's 2004 novel Liquidambar (UKA Press/PABD) interprets one of Hopper's paintings to create a surreal detective story.

Hopper's influence reached the Japanese animation world in the dark cyberpunk thriller Texhnolyze. His artwork was used as the basis for the surface world in Texhnolyze.[citation needed]

[edit] Exhibitions

In 1980, the groundbreaking show, "Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist," opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and visited London, Dusseldorf, and Amsterdam, as well as San Francisco and Chicago. For the first time ever, this show presented Hopper's oil paintings together with preparatory studies for those works. This was the beginning of Hopper's popularity in Europe and his large worldwide reputation.

In 2004, a large selection of Hopper's paintings toured Europe, visiting Cologne, Germany and the Tate Modern in London. The Tate exhibition became the second most popular in the gallery's history, with 420,000 visitors in the three months it was open.

In 2007, an exhibition focused on the period of Hopper’s greatest achievements—from about 1925 to mid-century, and was presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibit comprised fifty oil paintings, thirty watercolors, and twelve prints, including the favorites “Nighthawks”, “Chop Suey”, and “Lighthouse and Buildings”. The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the National Gallery of Art , Washington, The Art Institute of Chicago and sponsored by the global management consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton.

[edit] Selected works

Chief works of Edward Hopper (oil on canvas unless otherwise noted):

title date collection themes photos
Painter and Model 1902-1904 Whitney Museum of American Art painter, woman, nude, canvas
Bridge in Paris 1906 Whitney Museum of American Art Paris, bridge
Le Pont des Arts 1907 Whitney Museum of American Art Seine, bridge, Louvre [1]
Après-midi de juin 1907 Whitney Museum of American Art Louvre, Seine, bridge
Les lavoirs à Pont Royal 1907 Whitney Museum of American Art Seine, wash-house, bridge
Louvre and Boat Landing 1907 Whitney Museum of American Art Louvre, Seine, pier
The El Station 1908 Whitney Museum of American Art station, tracks [2]
Summer Interior 1909 Whitney Museum of American Art woman, room, bed, nude [3]
The Louvre in a
1909 Whitney Museum of American Art Louvre, Seine, bridge, boats
Le Pont Royal 1909 Whitney Museum of American Art Louvre, Seine, bridge
Le Quai des Grands Augustins 1909 Whitney Museum of American Art bridge, street, building
Le pavillon de Flore 1909 Whitney Museum of American Art Louvre, Seine
The Wine Shop 1909 Whitney Museum of American Art bistro, bridge, couple
American Village 1912 Whitney Museum of American Art street, house, cars
Squam Light 1912 lighthouse, houses, boats
Queensborough Bridge 1913 Whitney Museum of American Art New York, bridge [4]
Soir bleu 1914 Whitney Museum of American Art clown, couple, woman, cigarettes [5]
Road in Maine 1914 Whitney Museum of American Art Maine, nature, road [6]
Blackhead, Monhegan 1916-1919 Whitney Museum of American Art Maine, landscape, sea [7]
Stairways 1919 Whitney Museum of American Art stairs, door, woods
Night Shadows (etching) 1921 Museum of Modern Art man, street, night, building [8]
The New York Restaurant c. 1922 Muskegon Art Museum
restaurant, couple, woman [9]
Railroad Crossing 1922-1923 Whitney Museum of American Art train tracks, road,
house, woods
The Mansard Roof (watercolor) 1923 Brooklyn Museum house, trees [10]
The Locomotive (etching) 1923 Hirschl & Adler train tracks, men, tunnel [11]
House by the Railroad 1925 Museum of Modern Art train tracks, house [12]
Self-Portrait 1925-1930 Whitney Museum of American Art self-portrait [13]
Sunday 1926 Phillips Collection
Washington, D.C.
man, street, buildings [14]
Drug Store 1927 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston pharmacy, night, street [15]
Lighthouse Hill 1927 Dallas Museum of Art lighthouse, house, hill [16]
Coast Guard Station 1927 Montclair Art Museum house
Automat 1927 Des Moines Art Center woman, café, window,
night, fruit, radiator
The City 1927 University of Arizona Museum of Art city, streets, buildings [18]
Night Windows 1928 Museum of Modern Art night, window,
woman, building
Manhattan Bridge Loop 1928 Addison Gallery of
American Art
New York, tracks, lamp-post
Railroad Sunset 1929 Whitney Museum of American Art train tracks, landscape, twilight [20]
The Lighthouse at Two Lights 1929 Metropolitan Museum of Art lighthouse, house [21]
Chop Suey 1929 Barney A. Ebsworth Collection café, women, couple,
windows, sign
Early Sunday Morning 1930 Whitney Museum of American Art street, buildings,
street furniture
Tables for Ladies 1930 Metropolitan Museum of Art restaurant, women,
couple, fruits
Corn Hill
(Truro, Cape Cod)
1930 McNay Art Institute,
San Antonio
houses, hills [25]
Cobb's Barns, South Truro 1930-1933 Whitney Museum of American Art barn, landscape, hills
New York, New Haven
and Hartford
1931 Indianapolis Museum of Art train tracks, houses, trees
Hotel Room 1931 Fondation Thyssen-Bornemisza hotel, room, bed,
woman, reading
Dauphinée House 1932 ACA Galleries train tracks, house
Room in New York 1932 Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery
and Sculpture Garden
hotel, couple, reading, table [27]
House at Dusk 1935 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts building, woman, trees,
stairs, sea
The Long Leg 1935 The Huntington Library Collection sailboat, sea, dunes,
Macomb's Dam Bridge 1935 Brooklyn Museum bridge, river,
city, buildings
The Circle Theater 1936 Private collection theatre, street, building,
street furniture
Cape Cod Afternoon 1936 Museum of Art,
Carnegie Institute
Cape Cod, houses [31]
Compartiment C,
Car 193
1938 IBM Corporation Collection train, woman, reading, bridge [32]
New York Movie 1939 Museum of Modern Art New York, cinema,
woman, staircase
Cape Cod Evening 1939 National Gallery of Art,
Washington, D.C.
Cape Cod, couple, dog, house, woods [34]
Ground Swell 1939 Corcoran Gallery of Art boat, sea, swell,
woman, men
Gas 1940 Museum of Modern Art gas station, man, woods, road [36]
Office at Night 1940 Walker Art Center (Minneapolis) desk, woman, man, window [37]
Nighthawks 1942 Art Institute of Chicago bar, woman, men,
night, street
Dawn in Pennsylvania Terra Museum of
American Art
train tracks, train, buildings
Hotel Lobby 1943 Indianapolis Museum of Art hotel, couple, woman, reading [39]
Summertime 1943 Delaware Art Museum woman, building, windows [40]
Solitude 1944 Private collection house, woods, road
Morning in a City 1944 Williams College Museum of Art woman, nude, room,
bed, window, city
Rooms for Tourists 1945 Yale University Art Gallery house, night [42]
August in the City 1945 Norton Gallery of Art
West Palm Beach
house, woods [43]
Summer Evening 1947 Private collection couple, night, house [44]
Pennsylvania Coal Town 1947 Butler Institute of
American Art, Youngstown OH
house, stairs, man [45]
Seven AM 1948 Whitney Museum of American Art morning, woods, house
High Noon 1949 Dayton Art Institute house, woman [46]
Conference at Night 1949 Wichita Art Museum woman, men,
window, night
Cape Cod Morning 1950 National Museum of American Art Cape Cod, woman, house, woods [48]
Rooms by the Sea 1951 Yale University Art Gallery rooms, sea, door [49]
Morning Sun 1952 Columbus Museum of Art woman, room, bed,
window, city
Hotel by a Railroad 1952 Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden room, couple, window,
city, reading
Sea Watchers 1952 Private collection couple, sea, house, wind
Office in a Small City 1953 Metropolitan Museum of Art desk, man, window, buildings [52]
South Carolina Morning 1955 Whitney Museum of American Art woman, house [53]
Hotel Window 1956 The Forbes Magazine Collection hotel, window, woman, city
Four Lane Road 1956 Private collection couple, gas station, road,
woods, chair
Western Motel 1957 Yale University Art Gallery hotel, car,
landscape, woman
Sunlight in a Cafeteria 1958 Yale University Art Gallery café, woman, man,
window, street
Excursion into Philosophy 1959 Private collection couple, room
window, book
Second Story Sunlight 1960 Whitney Museum of American Art couple, reading, house, woods [58]
People in the Sun 1960 National Museum of American Art
Washington, D.C.
landscape, reading, men,
women, road, sun
A Woman in the Sun 1961 Whitney Museum of American Art woman, nude, window,
bed, landscape
New York Office 1962 Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts New York, desk, woman, window [61]
Intermission 1963 Private collection woman, armchair
Sun in an Empty Room 1963 Private collection room, window, woods [62]
Chair Car 1965 Private collection[106] woman, reading [63]
Two Comedians 1965 Private collection couple, costumes, theatre [64]

[edit] See also

[edit] Bibliography

  • Levin, Gail. Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography' (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1995; Rizzoli Books, 2007.)
  • Levin, Gail. Hopper's Places (New York: Knopf, 1985; 2nd expanded edition, University of California Press, 1998.)
  • Levin, Gail. Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonne (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1995).
  • Wells, Walter. Silent Theater: The Art of Edward Hopper (London/New York: Phaidon, 2007).
  • Wells, Walter. Un théatre silencieux: l'oeuvre d'Edward Hopper (London/New York: Phaidon, 2007)
  • Wells, Walter. Il teatro del silenzio: l'arte di Edward Hopper (London/New York: Phaidon, 2007)
  • Cook, Greg, "Visions of Isolation: Edward Hopper at the MFA", Boston Phoenix, May 4, 2007, p.22, Arts and Entertainment.
  • Healy, Pat, "Look at all the lonely people: MFA's 'Hopper' celebrates solitude", Metro newspaper, Tuesday, May 8, 2007, p.18.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Sherry Maker, Edward Hopper, Brompton Books, New York, 1990, p. 6, ISBN 0-517-01518-8
  2. ^ Gail Levin, Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1995, p.11, ISBN 0-394-54664-4
  3. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 9
  4. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 12
  5. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 23
  6. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 12, 16
  7. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 20
  8. ^ Gail Levin, The Complete Oil Paintings of Edward Hopper, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 2001, p. 1, ISBN 0-595-04996-5
  9. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 23, 25
  10. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 8
  11. ^ Sheena Wagstaff, Ed., Edward Hopper, Tate Publishing, London, 2004, p. 16, ISBN 1-854-37-5334
  12. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 8
  13. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 40
  14. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 8
  15. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 9
  16. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 19
  17. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 38
  18. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 48
  19. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 11
  20. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 9
  21. ^ Wagstaff, 2004, p. 17
  22. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 66
  23. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 10
  24. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 85
  25. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 88
  26. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 53
  27. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 88
  28. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 88
  29. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 107
  30. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 90
  31. ^ Wagstaff, 2004, p. 227
  32. ^ Levin, 2001, pp. 74-77
  33. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 12
  34. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 120
  35. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 13-5
  36. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 151, 153
  37. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 152, 155
  38. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 120
  39. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 16
  40. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 16
  41. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 171
  42. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 171
  43. ^ Hopper's Gloucester, Andrea Shea, WBUR, July 6, 2007.
  44. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 16
  45. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 230
  46. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 161
  47. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 246
  48. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 230
  49. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 230
  50. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 17
  51. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 232
  52. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 232
  53. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 233
  54. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 235
  55. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 98
  56. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 254
  57. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 261
  58. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 92
  59. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 13
  60. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 13
  61. ^ Levin, 2001, pp. 130-145
  62. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 266
  63. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 67
  64. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 229
  65. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 12
  66. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 28
  67. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, pp. 70-71
  68. ^ Goodrich, Lloyd, Edward Hopper, NewYork: H. N. Abrams, 1971
  69. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 169, 213
  70. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 212
  71. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 220, 264
  72. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 55
  73. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 220, 264
  74. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 288
  75. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 44
  76. ^ Levin, 1995, p. 350
  77. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 198
  78. ^ Wells, Walter, "Silent Theater: The Art of Edward Hopper", London/New York: Phaidon, 2007
  79. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 278
  80. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 37
  81. ^ Wagstaff, 2004, p. 20
  82. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 282
  83. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 162
  84. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 268
  85. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 332
  86. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 274
  87. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 262
  88. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 380
  89. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 17
  90. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 88
  91. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, pp. 84-86
  92. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 12
  93. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 71
  94. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 17
  95. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 43
  96. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 65
  97. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 15
  98. ^ Wagstaff, 2004, p. 23
  99. ^ Levin, 2001, p. 334
  100. ^ Maker, 1990, p. 19
  101. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 13
  102. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 36
  103. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 234
  104. ^ Wagstaff, p. 2004, p. 13
  105. ^ Ray Zone. "A Master of Mood". American Cinematographer. http://www.theasc.com/magazine/aug02/perdition/sidebar1.html. Retrieved on 2007-06-06. 
  106. ^ Sold at auction in 2005 for €10.865 million.

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