29 May 2020
Five Things to Know About Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper (1882–1967) is one of the 20th century’s most important American painters, often depicting through his realistic paintings the experience of human isolation, delivering a candid portrait of the modern city and contemporary struggles.
Here we round up 5 interesting facts to know about the iconic Edward Hopper:
1. Although he is best known for his oil paintings, Hopper also worked in etching and watercolour, some of his illustration work included designing movie posters. He was in fact a huge film lover and his art, which often alluded to the cinema and film noir, has been a significant inspiration for generations of filmmakers. Needless to say his interest went beyond painting, a clear example is his admiration for architecture. He repeatedly evaluated the merits of cities he visited based on their architectural qualities.
2. His representation of female figures are largely based on his wife Josephine Nivision Hopper. By the time the couple married in 1924, she was a successful artist that ultimately introduced Hopper to important actors in New York’s art scene of the moment. From that time on she became his primary model and most ardent supporter. After his death, she donated their massive art. collection to the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Now let’s have a look at some of the most important Edward Hopper’s paintings, giving an insight into his mind and creative process:
The painting portrays a lone woman staring into a cup of coffee in an Automat at night. As is often the case in Hopper’s paintings, both the woman’s circumstances and her mood are ambiguous. She is well-dressed and is wearing makeup, which could indicate either that she is on her way to or from work at a job where personal appearance is important, or that she is on her way to or from a social occasion.
This Edward Hopper painting was completed in 1942 and captures the paradox of loneliness in urban life. Hopper’s masterpiece is an existential crisis in its own right; where a group of individuals fall prey to the isolating stillness of New York City. It remains not only one of the most recognisable, but also relatable paintings in 20th century American art
5. Morning Sun:
1952 Morning Sun, the woman – modeled after Hopper’s wife, Jo – faces the sun impassively and seemingly lost in thought. Her visible right eye appears sightless, emphasizing her isolation. The bare wall and the elevation of the room above the street also suggest the bleakness and solitude of impersonal urban life.
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