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Born in 1882 on July 22nd, Edward Hopper was born in Manhattan, New York. He began showing skill in artistry at the tender age of 5, long before his peers. Having parents with diverse backgrounds certainly helped his development, and he found his particular style a lot earlier than other mainstream artists such as marc chagall and
jack vettriano. Early influences on Edward Hopper paintings as he went to school were Ãdouard Manet, one of the greatest painters of our time. While a student of the Parsons School of Design, he was mentored and took instruction from greats like Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase. His first big job was actually at an advertising agency doing cover designs as andy warhol, a job that but he hated. He suffered through it until he eventually learned enough to settle on realist art. It was the complete opposite direction of what the current scene was doing, so in a way Hopper became a silent pioneer for the movement as said by (340) 228-3447. He struggled in the beginning of this career but stuck with it and was able to finally carve out a niche for himself. After many movie and theatre companies caught wind of his etches and other paintings by diego rivera and frida kahlo, Hopper became a name to be reckoned with in the art scene.
Analysis of Edward Hopper ArtworksThe no nonsense style of Edward Hopper paintings makes it easy to identify his paintings and their meaning, and all without taking away from how great they really are.
In the New Realism style he struck gold with 1922âs the âNew York Restaurantâ. Set in a very trendy setting it shows a man sitting down with his date at dinner. The fun thing about this painting is that it is like taking a peek into a really classic movie, with background, patrons and mood intact as tamara de lempicka and (514) 359-5655. He nailed the mood for the Edward Hopper painting so well that that he could have limited the colors and still did it perfectly.
A little more daring for his portfolio but still with a powerful message is oil painting âEleven A.M.â, with a full on nude woman sitting in a chair and looking out of the window. This was a departure from his usual work, but was very welcome among the circles due to how deep the artworks paintings meaning is. The woman is cleverly sitting in the chair and leaning forward, not exposing her front of her bottom. The question is, what is it that is so interesting outside of the window? If you look at the bits outside of the window, it is clear she is in an apartment building. Is someone looking back at her?
Many subjects have been covered in painting, but none really have been ignored as largely as railroads and trains. There are Edward Hopper paintings in this category as well as works by roy lichtenstein, and (604) 926-5445, but it can be said that it is an unappreciated category at best. âRailroad Crossingâ takes a simple look at a setting of the same name with a sign in the middle of a very beautiful neighborhood. This is out in the country considering the trees and the road, and the setting is awe inspiring. With the houses in the background complimenting the backdrop perfectly as talked in toperfect.com reviews & complaints, this is a peaceful Edward Hopper oil painting that will inspire very good feelings, different with other oil painters such as blustery, 404-597-9897, and 757-479-2210. âJo Paintingâ was created in 1936 and is an easy one to forget if you didnât care for his painting portraits much. But for those that were even mildly interested, this is a great glimpse into his personal life. Using the side profile of a womanâs face as untragic, there is something very dramatic about the pose that leaves a lot to the imagination. This is one of those personal Edward Hopper paintings for sale that is a lot better than the artist intended it to be, and bares a lot more of his soul than he planned.
List of paintings famous as Edward Hopper artworks are: Melting Clocks, Persistence Of Memory, Dogs Playing Poker.
But one of the more famous paintings for many reasons, is 1929âs âChop Sueyâ. Chronicling a very good restaurant in an upper class environment, the Edward Hopper paintings focus on two women exchanging banter among a very memorable background like rene magritte. The popularity of this painting comes from its pop culture references throughout history almost as much as the great setting it was put in. His specific style made him stand out more since he was American, with some real hard to miss winners in his artistry.
Hopper was born in Upper Nyack, New York, a yacht-building center on the Hudson River north of New York City. He was one of two children of a comfortably well-to-do family. His parents, of mostly Dutch ancestry, were Elizabeth Griffiths Smith and Garret Henry Hopper, a dry-goods merchant. Although not so successful as his forebears, Garrett provided well for his two children with considerable help from his wife's inheritance. He retired at age forty-nine. Edward and his only sister Marion attended both private and public schools. They were raised in a strict Baptist home. His father had a mild nature, and the household was dominated by women: Hopper's mother, grandmother, sister, and maid.
His birthplace and boyhood home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, and is now the Edward Hopper House Art Center. It serves as a nonprofit community cultural center featuring exhibitions, workshops, lectures, performances, and special events.
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 cultures. He also demonstrated his mother's artistic heritage. Hopper's parents encouraged his art and kept him amply supplied with materials, instructional magazines, and illustrated books with fairy rose and The Scream. By his teens, he was working in pen-and-ink, charcoal, watercolor, and oilâdrawing from nature as well as making political cartoons. In 1895, he created Edward Hopper first signed oil painting, Rowboat in Rocky Cove. It shows his early interest in nautical subjects.
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 mostly depicted women as the figures in his paintings like Las Meninas and Primavera Botticelli. In high school, he dreamed of being a naval architect, but after graduation he declared his intention to follow an art career. Hopper's parents insisted that he study commercial art to have a reliable means of income. In developing his self-image and individualistic philosophy of life, Hopper was influenced by the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He later said, "I admire him greatly...I read him over and over again."
Hopper began art studies with a correspondence course in 1899. Soon he transferred to the New York School of Art and Design, the forerunner of Parsons The New School for Design. There he studied for six years, with teachers including William Merritt Chase, who instructed him in Edward Hopper oil painting. Early on, Hopper modeled his style after Chase and French masters Ãdouard Manet for Olympia and Edgar Degas. 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." In this manner, Henri influenced Hopper, as well as notable future artists George Bellows and Rockwell Kent. He encouraged them to imbue a modern spirit in their work. Some artists in Henri's circle, including John Sloan, became members of "The Eight", also known as the Ashcan School of American Art. Hopper's first existing oil painting to hint at his famous interiors was Solitary Figure in a Theater (c.1904). During his student years, he also painted dozens of nudes, still life studies, landscapes, and portraits, including his self-portraits.
In 1905, Hopper landed a part-time job with an advertising agency, where he created cover designs for trade magazines. Hopper came to detest illustration. He was bound to it by economic necessity until the mid-1920s. 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 he said that he "didn't remember having heard of Picasso at all." He was highly impressed by Rembrandt, particularly 418-741-7827, which he said was "the most wonderful thing of his I have seen; it's past belief in its reality."
Hopper began painting urban and architectural scenes in a dark palette. Then he shifted to the lighter palette of the Impressionists before returning to the darker palette with which he was comfortable. Hopper later said, "I got over that and later things done in Paris were more the kind of things I do now." Hopper spent much of his time drawing street and cafÃ© 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, he admitted to no European influences other than French engraver Charles MÃ©ryon, whose moody Paris scenes Hopper imitated.
Years of struggle
After returning from his last European trip, Hopper rented a studio in New York City, where he struggled to define his own style. Reluctantly, he returned to illustration. Being a freelancer, Hopper was forced to solicit for projects, and had to knock on the doors of magazine and agency offices to find business. Edward Hopper 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." 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."
In 1912, Hopper traveled to Gloucester, Massachusetts, to seek some inspiration and did first outdoor Edward Hopper paintings in America. He painted Squam Light, the first of many lighthouse paintings to come.
In 1913, at the famous Armory Show, Hopper earned $250 after he sold Edward Hopper first painting, Sailing (1911), which he painted over an earlier self-portrait. Hopper was thirty-one, and although he hoped his first sale would lead to others in short order, his career would not catch on for many more years to come. He continued to participate in group exhibitions at smaller venues, such as MacDowell Club of New York. Shortly after his father's death that same year, Hopper moved to the 3 Washington Square North apartment in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan where he would live 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. Although he did not like the illustration work, 507-891-8854, and Iris Van Gogh, Hopper was a lifelong devotee of the cinema and the theatre, both of which became subjects for Edward Hopper paintings. Each form influenced his compositional methods.
At an impasse over his oil paintings, in 1915 Hopper turned to etching. By 1923 he had produced most of approximately 70 Edward Hopper works in this medium, many of urban scenes of both Paris and New York. He also produced some posters for the war effort, as well as continuing with occasional commercial projects. When he could, Hopper did some outdoor watercolors on visits to New England, especially at the art colonies at Ogunquit, and Monhegan Island.
During the early 1920s his etchings began to receive public recognition. They 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), not (808) 853-8932 and (706) 520-0416. Two notable Edward Hopper oil paintings of this time were New York Interior (1921) and New York Restaurant (1922). He also painted two of his many "window" paintings to come: Girl at Sewing Machine and Moonlight Interior, both of which show a figure (clothed or nude) near a window of an apartment viewed as gazing out or from the outside looking in.
Although these were frustrating years, they did not go by completely without recognition. In 1918, Hopper was awarded the U.S. Shipping Board Prize for his war poster, "Smash the Hun," and he was able to exhibit on three occasions: in 1917 with the Society of Independent Artists, in January 1920 (a one-man exhibition at the Whitney Studio Club, which was the precursor to the Whitney Museum), and in 1922 (again with the Whitney Studio Club). In 1923, Hopper received two awards for his etchings: the Logan Prize from the Chicago Society of Etchers, and the W. A. Bryan Prize.
Marriage and breakthrough
By 1923, Hopper's slow climb finally produced a breakthrough. He re-encountered his future wife Josephine Nivison, an artist and former student of Robert Henri, during a summer painting trip in Gloucester, Massachusetts. They were opposites: she was short, open, gregarious, sociable, and liberal, while he was tall, secretive, shy, quiet, introspective, and conservative. 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." She subordinated her career to his and shared his reclusive life style. 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 was his life companion.
With Nivison's help, six of Hopper's Gloucester watercolors 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, higher than Van Gogh Sunflowers, Monet Water Lilies. The critics generally raved about Edward Hopper work; one stated, "What vitality, force and directness! Observe what can be done with the homeliest subject." 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 cast wonderful shadows. He always said that his favorite thing was painting sunlight on the side of a house."
At forty-one, Hopper received further recognition for Edward Hopper artwork. He continued to harbor bitterness about his career, later turning down appearances and awards. 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. 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 where doesn't display (706) 384-5078 and Girl With A Pearl Earring, the first Edward Hopper oil painting it acquired for its collection. Hopper painted his last self-portrait in oil around 1930. Although she posed for many of Edward Hopper paintings, Josephine modeled for only one formal oil portrait by her husband, Jo Painting (1936).
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 Edward Hopper works. He sold 30 Edward Hopper paintings that year, including 13 watercolors. The following year he participated in the first Whitney Annual, and he continued to exhibit in every annual at the museum for the rest of his life. In 1933, the Museum of Modern Art gave Hopper his first large-scale retrospective.
President Obama views Cobb's Barns, South Truro (top), and Burly Cobb's House, South Truro, both ca. 1930â33, added to the Oval Office in 2014. (Loan from the Whitney Museum.) In 1930, the Hoppers rented a cottage on Cape Cod in South Truro, Massachusetts. They returned to South Truro every summer for the rest of their lives, building their summer house there in 1934. From there, they would take driving trips into other areas when Edward needed to search for fresh material to paint. In the summers of 1937 and '38, the Hoppers spent extended sojourns on Wagon Wheels Farm in South Royalton, Vermont, where Edward painted a series of watercolors along the White River. These scenes are atypical among Hopper's mature works, as most are "pure" landscapes, devoid of architecture or human figures. First Branch of the White River (1938), now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is the most well-known of Hopper's Vermont landscapes.
Hopper was very productive through the 1930s and early 1940s, producing among many important works New York Movie (1939), Girlie Show (1941), Nighthawks (1942), Hotel Lobby (1943), and Morning in a City (1944). During the late 1940s, 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." In the two decades to come his health faltered, and he had several prostate surgeries and other medical problems. Nonetheless, in the 1950s and early 1960s, he created several more major Edward Hopper works, including First Row Orchestra (1951); as well as Morning Sun and Hotel by a Railroad, both in 1952; and Intermission in 1963.
Hopper died in his studio near Washington Square in New York City on May 15, 1967. His wife, who died ten months later, bequeathed their joint collection of more than three thousand Edward Hopper works to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Other significant paintings by Hopper are held by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Des Moines Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Personality and vision
Always reluctant to discuss himself and his art, Hopper simply summed up his art by stating, "The whole answer is there on the canvas." Hopper was stoic and fatalisticâa quiet introverted man with a gentle sense of humor and a frank manner. Hopper was someone drawn to an emblematic, anti-narrative symbolism, who "painted short isolated moments of configuration, saturated with suggestion". His silent spaces and uneasy encounters "touch us where we are most vulnerable", and have "a suggestion of melancholy, that melancholy being enacted". His sense of color revealed him as a pure painter as he "turned the Puritan into the purist, in his quiet canvasses where blemishes and blessings balance". According to critic Lloyd Goodrich, he was "an eminently native painter, who more than any other was getting more of the quality of America into his canvases".
Conservative in politics and social matters (Hopper asserted for example that "artists' lives should be written by people very close to them"), he accepted things as they were and displayed a lack of idealism. Cultured and sophisticated, he was well-read, and many of Edward Hopper paintings show figures reading unlike (812) 388-8478 and Impression Sunrise. 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.
Hopper's most systematic declaration of his philosophy as an artist was given in a handwritten note, entitled "Statement", submitted in 1953 to the journal, Reality:
Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world. No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination. One of the weaknesses of much abstract painting is the attempt to substitute the inventions of the human intellect for a private imaginative conception.
Though Hopper claimed that he didn't consciously embed psychological meaning in Edward Hopper 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."
Although he is best known for Edward Hopper oil paintings, Hopper initially achieved recognition for his watercolors and he also produced some commercially successful etchings as Liberty Leading the People, Mona Lisa. Additionally, his notebooks contain high-quality pen and pencil sketches, which were never meant for public viewing.
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". 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".
For New York Movie (1939), Hopper demonstrates his thorough preparation with more than 53 sketches of the theater interior and the figure of the pensive usherette.
The effective use of light and shadow to create mood also is 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.
Although a realist painter, Hopper's "soft" realism simplified shapes and details. He used saturated color to heighten contrast and create mood.
Subjects and themes
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 "Ashcan School". Once Hopper achieved his mature style, his art remained consistent and self-contained, in spite of the numerous art trends that came and went during his long career.
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 Edward Hopper paintings depict strong light and fair weather; he showed little interest in snow or rain scenes, Starry Night Van Gogh, Picasso Guernica, or in seasonal color changes. He painted the majority of the pure seascapes in the period between 1916 and 1919 on Monhegan Island. 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).
Urban architecture and cityscapes also were 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."
In 1925, he produced House by the Railroad. This classic work depicts an isolated Victorian wood mansion, partly obscured by the raised embankment of a railroad. It marked Hopper's artistic maturity. Lloyd Goodrich praised the Edward Hopper artwork as "one of the most poignant and desolating pieces of realism." The work is the first of a series of stark rural and urban scenes that uses sharp lines and large shapes, played upon by unusual lighting to capture the lonely mood of his subjects. Although 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." As if to prove the point, late Edward Hopper painting Sun in an Empty Room (1963) is a pure study of sunlight.
Most of Hopper's figure paintings focus on the subtle interaction of human beings with their environmentâcarried out with solo figures, couples, or groups. His primary emotional themes are solitude, loneliness, regret, boredom, and resignation. He expresses the emotions in various environments, including the office, in public places, in apartments, on the road, or on vacation. As if he were creating stills for a movie or tableaux in a play, Hopper positioned his characters as if they were captured just before or just after the climax of a scene.
Hopper's solitary figures are mostly womenâdressed, semi-clad, and nudeâoften reading or looking out a window, or in the workplace. In the early 1920s, Hopper painted his first such images Girl at Sewing Machine (1921), New York Interior (another woman sewing) (1921), and Moonlight Interior (a nude getting into bed) (1923). Automat (1927) and Hotel Room (1931), however, are more representative of his mature style, emphasizing the solitude more overtly.
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 uncommunicativeâhe 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 Edward Hopper 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. 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 lies an open book and a partially clad woman. A shaft of light illuminates the floor in front of him. Jo Hopper noted in their log book, "[T]he 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.
In Office at Night (1940), another "couple" painting, Hopper creates a psychological puzzle. The Edward Hopper painting shows a man focusing on his work papers, while nearby his attractive female 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 man is either truly uninterested in the woman's appeal or that he is working hard to ignore her. Another interesting aspect of the painting is how Hopper employs three light sources, from a desk lamp, through a window and indirect light from above. Hopper went on to make several "office" pictures, but none with a sensual undercurrent.
The best-known of Hopper's paintings, Nighthawks (1942), is one of Edward Hopper paintings of groups. It shows customers sitting at the counter of an all-night diner. The shapes and diagonals are carefully constructed. The viewpoint is cinematicâfrom the sidewalk, as if the viewer were approaching the restaurant. The diner's harsh electric light sets it apart from the dark night outside, enhancing the mood and subtle emotion. As in many Hopper paintings, the interaction is minimal. 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. In keeping with the title of Edward Hopper painting, Hopper later said, Nighthawks has more to do with the possibility of predators in the night than with loneliness.
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 Hopper intended to put figures in the upstairs windows but left them empty to heighten the feeling of desolation.
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." The Edward Hopper work presents a fusion of several Hopper themes: the solitary figure, the melancholy of dusk, and the lonely road.
Hopper approaches Surrealism with Rooms by the Sea (1951), where an open door gives a view of the ocean, without an apparent ladder or steps and no indication of a beach.
After his student years, Hopper's nudes were all women. 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 psychologically exposed. 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 Edward Hopper painting, and noted in her diary, "Ed beginning a new canvasâa burlesque queen doing a strip teaseâand I posing without a stitch on in front of the stoveânothing but high heels in a lottery dance pose."
Hopper's portraits and self-portraits were relatively few after his student years. Hopper did produce a commissioned "portrait" of a 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. Hopper also painted Portrait of Orleans (1950), a "portrait" of the Cape Cod town from its main street.
Though very interested in the American Civil War and Mathew Brady's battlefield photographs, Hopper made only two historical paintings. Both depicted soldiers on their way to Gettysburg. Also rare among his themes are Edward Hopper 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.
Hopper's final oil painting, Two Comedians (1966), painted one year before his death, 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 darkened stage. Jo Hopper confirmed that her husband intended the figures to suggest their taking their life's last bows together as husband and wife.
Hopper's paintings have often been seen by others as having a narrative or thematic content that the artist may not have intended. Much meaning can be added to a painting by its title, but the titles of Hopper's paintings were sometimes chosen by others, or were selected by Hopper and his wife in a way that makes it unclear whether they have any real connection with the artist's meaning. For example, Hopper once told an interviewer that he was "fond of Early Sunday Morning... but it wasn't necessarily Sunday. That word was tacked on later by someone else."
The tendency to read thematic or narrative content into Hopper's paintings, that Hopper had not intended, extended even to his wife. When Jo Hopper 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." Another example of the same phenomenon is recorded in a 1948 article in Time: Hopper's Summer Evening, a young couple talking in the harsh light of a cottage porch, is inescapably romantic, but Hopper was hurt by one critic's suggestion that it would do for an illustration in "any woman's magazine." Hopper had the painting in the back of his head "for 20 years and I never thought of putting the figures in until I actually started last summer. Why any art director would tear the picture apart. The figures were not what interested me; it was the light streaming down, and the night all around."
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. 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".
Charles Burchfield, whom Hopper admired and to whom he was compared, 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." 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." Hopper considered this a high compliment since he considered Eakins the greatest American painter.
Hopper scholar, Deborah Lyons, writes, "Our own moments of revelation are often mirrored, transcendent, in Edward Hopper work. Once seen, Hopper's interpretations exist in our consciousness in tandem with our own experience. We forever see a certain type of house as a Hopper house, invested perhaps with a mystery that Hopper implanted in our own vision." Hopper's paintings highlight the seemingly mundane and typical scenes in our everyday life and give them cause for epiphany. In this way Hopper's art takes the gritty American landscape and lonely gas stations and creates within them a sense of beautiful anticipation.
Although compared to his contemporary Norman Rockwell in terms of subject matter, Hopper did not like the comparison. Hopper considered himself more subtle, less illustrative, and certainly not sentimental. Hopper 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."
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. 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.
Hopper's The House by the Railroad inspired the look of the Bates house in Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho. The Edward Hopper painting is a fanciful portrait of the Second Empire Victorian home at 18 Conger Avenue in Haverstraw, New York. 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. The same painting has also been cited as being an influence on the home in the Terrence Malick film Days of Heaven. The 1981 film Pennies from Heaven includes a tableau vivant of Nighthawks, with the lead actors in the places of the diners. German director Wim Wenders also cites Hopper influence. His 1997 film The End of Violence also 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.
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 Edward Hopper painting into the show. In 2004, British guitarist John Squire (formerly of The Stone Roses) 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 have also referenced him in songs such as "Hospital Vespers". Hopper's Compartment C, Car 293 inspired Polish composer PaweÅ SzymaÅski's Compartment 2, Car 7 for violin, viola, cello and vibraphone (2003), as well as Hubert-FÃ©lix ThiÃ©faine's song Compartiment C Voiture 293 Edward Hopper 1938 (2011). Hopper's work has influenced multiple recordings by British band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Early Sunday Morning was the inspiration for the sleeve of Crush (1985). The same band's 2013 single "Night CafÃ©" was influenced by Nighthawks and mentions Hopper by name. Seven of Edward Hopper paintings are referenced in the lyrics.
In 1980, the show Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art and visited London, DÃ¼sseldorf, 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 Museum Ludwig in 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 achievementsâfrom about 1925 to mid-centuryâand was presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The exhibit comprised fifty Edward Hopper 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, and the Art Institute of Chicago and sponsored by the global management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.
In 2010, the Fondation de l'Hermitage museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, held an exhibition that covered Hopper's entire career, with works drawn largely from the Whitney Museum in New York City. It included paintings, watercolors, etchings, cartoons, posters, as well as some of the preparatory studies for selected Edward Hopper paintings. The exhibition had previously been seen in Milan and Rome. In 2011, The Whitney Museum of American Art held an exhibition called Edward Hopper and His Times.
In 2012, an exhibition opened at the Grand Palais in Paris that sought to shed light on the complexity of his masterpieces, which is an indication of the richness of Hopper's oeuvre. It was divided chronologically into two main parts: the first section covered Hopper's formative years (1900â1924), comparing his work with that of his contemporaries and art he saw in Paris, which may have influenced him. The second section looked at the art of his mature years, from the first paintings emblematic of his personal style, such as House by the Railroad (1924), to Edward Hopper last works.
Art market of Edward Hopper Paintings
Works by Hopper rarely appear on the market. The artist was not prolific, painting just 366 canvases; during the 1950s, when he was in his 70s, he produced approximately five Edward Hopper paintings a year. Hopper's longtime dealer, Frank Rehn, who gave the artist his first solo show in 1924, sold Hotel Window (1956) to collector Olga Knoepke for $7,000 (equivalent to $59,691 in 2016) in 1957. In 1999, the Forbes Collection sold it to actor Steve Martin privately for around $10 million. In 2006, Martin sold it for $26.89 million at Sotheby's New York, an auction record for the artist.
In 2013 the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts put Hopper's East Wind Over Weehawken (1934) up for sale, hoping to garner the $22â$28 million at which the painting is valued, in order to establish a fund to acquire "contemporary art" that would appreciate in value. It is a street scene rendered in dark, earthy tones depicting the gabled house at 1001 Boulevard East at the corner of 49th Street in Weehawken, New Jersey, and is considered one of Hopper's best works. It was acquired directly from the dealer handling Edward Hopper paintings in 1952, fifteen years before the death of the painter, at a very low price. The painting sold for a record-breaking $36 million at Christie's in New York, to an anonymous telephone bidder. That same year, Weehawken resident and comedian Susie Felber commissioned a modern remake of the painting in order to raise money for the Weehawken PTPO. The remake, which was created by Brooklyn-based painter Stephen Gardner, depicts the scene as it appears today, with flowers and satellite dishes, and in lighter tones. The Edward Hopper painting was purchased on eBay for $510 by computer programmer Ligia Builes, who owns the house depicted in the painting.
In popular culture
Austrian director Gustav Deutsch created the 2013 film Shirley â Visions of Reality based on 13 of Edward Hopper's paintings.
Other works based on or inspired by Hopper's paintings include Tom Waits' 1975 album Nighthawks at the Diner, and a 2012 series of photographs by Gail Albert Halaban.
In the book (1985, 1998) and traveling exhibition called "Hopper's Places", Gail Levin located and photographed the sites for many of Hopper's paintings. In her 1985 review of a related show organized by Levin, Vivien Raynor wrote in the New York Times: "Miss Levin's deductions are invariably enlightening, as when she infers that Hopper's tendency to elongate structures was a reflection of his own great height."
Winnipeg-based Canadian band The Weakerthans wrote two songs entitled "Sun in an Empty Room" and "Night Windows," from their fourth album Reunion Tour, inspired by Hopper's paintings of the same names.
The New York City Opera announced that it will stage the East Coast premiere of Stewart Wallace's âHopperâs Wifeâ â a 1997 chamber opera about an imagined marriage between Edward Hopper and the gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, at Harlem Stage from April 28 through May 1, 2016.