Edward Hopper

Orfeas Katsoulis | Jan 16, 2023

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Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882, Nyack, New York - May 15, 1967, New York) was an American painter and printmaker and a representative of American genre painting. He is best known for his paintings of daily life, the most famous of which is Midnighters (1942). Hopper's work had a strong influence on the art world in general and the pop culture of the 20th century in particular.

He was a pupil of William Chase and Robert Henry. For a long time he could not succeed with critics and the public. Constantly experimenting in search of his style, moving from oil paintings to etchings and back again, Hopper received public recognition only in the 1930s, when he was over 40 years old. The main theme of his art, which brought him success, was the loneliness of man in the world and in society. In all, Hopper painted 366 oil paintings.

Hopper was a realist painter, but his realism was "new," simplifying forms and details. The artist used saturated color to enhance contrast and create mood. The effective use of light and shadow is central to his methods.

Early Years (1882-1910)

The future artist was born in Nyack, New York. He was one of two children in the family of Garrett Henry Hopper (1852-1913), a haberdashery salesman, and Elizabeth Griffiths Smith (1854-1935). Edward and his only sister Marion (1880-1965) attended both private and public schools and were raised in the strict Baptist tradition. Their father had a mild temper, and the household was run by women: Hopper's mother, grandmother, sister, and maid.

Edward showed a talent for drawing at the age of five and did well in elementary school. He absorbed his father's intellectual leanings and his love of French and Russian cultures, and from his mother his interest in art. Hopper's parents encouraged drawing by buying materials, educational magazines, and illustrated books. As a teenager, he worked with pen and ink, charcoal, watercolor and oil - drawing from life, as well as creating comics and caricatures. In 1895 he painted his first signed oil painting, The Oar Boat in Rocky Bay.

Hopper had a sense of humor that found an outlet in his art, sometimes in depictions of immigrants or women dominating men in comic situations. Later he mostly depicted women in his paintings. In high school he dreamed of becoming a ship's architect, but after graduation he declared his intention to become a painter, although his parents insisted on studying commerce so that their son would have a secure livelihood. At the time, Hopper's philosophical views were strongly influenced by the works of Ralph Emerson. He later wrote: "I deeply admire him ... I reread him again and again.

In the summer of 1899, Hopper began studying art in correspondence school, receiving materials and assignments by mail. In the fall of that year he enrolled at the New York School of Art and Design, the forerunner of the Parsons School of Design, where he studied for six years. Among his teachers was William Chase, who taught him oil painting, and at first Hopper imitated the style of Chase and the French Impressionists Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas. His other teacher was the painter Robert Henry, who encouraged his students to use art to "stir the world. Henry also advised, "It is not the subject that matters, but how you relate to it" and "Forget about art and paint what interests you in life." The Robert Henry School at the time championed the idea of creating modern national art in the United States. The main principle of this school was, "Educate yourself, don't let me educate you," a principle aimed at shaping individuality. Henry was a great influence on Hopper, as well as on future artists George Bellows and Rockwell Kent. Some artists close to Henry, including John Sloan, became members of the Eight, also known as the Dumpster School .

Hopper's first surviving oil painting, which hints at his future use of interiors as a major subject, was Lonely Figure in the Theater (c. 1904). During his student years he also painted dozens of nudes, still lifes, landscapes, and portraits, including self-portraits.

In 1905 Hopper got a part-time job at the C. C. Phillips and Company, where he drew covers for trade magazines such as New York Edison's Bulletin. Although the artist had an aversion to illustration, he was forced to make a living in the advertising industry until the mid-1920s. Between 1906 and 1910 he traveled to Europe three times, visiting Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities, ostensibly to study art. In reality, however, Hopper studied on his own and was apparently no longer influenced by new currents in art. He later mentioned that he "does not remember having heard anything about Picasso. He was greatly impressed by Rembrandt, especially the painting Night Watch, which, he said, "was the most amazing picture of him that I had ever seen.

Hopper began to paint city and architectural landscapes in a dark palette. For a time he switched to the lighter impressionist palette, but then returned to the darker palette with which he was "comfortable. Later, Hopper said: "I was done with it, and what I later did in Paris is similar to what I'm doing now." Hopper spent much of his time painting scenes in the streets and cafes and attending the theater and opera. Unlike many of his contemporaries who imitated abstract cubist experiments, Hopper was closer to realism. He later claimed to have escaped the influence of European art, with the exception of the French engraver Charles Mérion, whose macabre scenes of Parisian life he imitated.

The Search for Style (1910-1923)

In 1910, returning from his last European trip, Hopper rented a studio in New York, where he began to persistently seek his own style. In order to support himself, he was forced to return to commercial commissions, taking a job with the Sherman and Bryan advertising agency, illustrating magazines. Hopper, a former freelancer, had to seek commissions on his own, knocking on the doors of magazine editorial offices and agency offices. He drew less and less: "It's hard for me to decide what I want to draw. I go months without finding a story. Everything is very slow." His colleague, illustrator Walter Tittle, seeing his friend's torment, described Hopper's depressed emotional state in sharper terms: "suffering ... from long periods of invincible inertia, sitting for days on end in front of his easel in helpless discontent, unable to raise his hand to break the curse." In search of inspiration, Hopper traveled to Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1912. There he painted his first plein air paintings in America, among them Squam Lighthouse.

In 1913, at the Arsenal Exhibition in New York, Hopper sold his first painting, which was the work "Sailing" (1911). For this painting the author received 250 dollars. Hopper was 31 years old by this time, and although he hoped that the first sale would give the impetus to gain popularity for his paintings, success in his career did not come for many more years. He continued to participate in group shows at small venues such as New York's McDowell Club. In 1913, shortly after his father's death, Hopper moved into an apartment at No. 3 Washington Square in Manhattan's Greenwich Village neighborhood, where he would live for the rest of his life. The following year, in preparation for an advertising campaign for a movie studio, he was commissioned to create promotional posters for the films. Although Hopper was not fond of illustration, he always remained a fan of film and theater, in which he found subjects for his paintings. Both art forms influenced his compositional style.

In 1915, because his oil paintings were not selling well, Hopper decided to try making etchings. By 1923 he had produced most of his 70 etchings, many of which were scenes of Paris and New York city life. He also painted several war-themed posters and continued to make occasional commercial commissions. When the opportunity arose, Hopper painted watercolors outdoors, which he did on visits to New England, especially in Oganquit and Monegan Island.

In the early 1920s, Hopper's etchings began to gain fame. They displayed some of the themes that the artist would later actively use: "a couple in silence" in the etching Night on the El train, "a lonely woman" in the etching Evening Wind, and "a simple sea scene" in the etching The Boat. Here is a manifestation of the main theme of creativity Edward Hopper - the loneliness of man in American society and the world. Two famous oil paintings of the time were "New York Interior" (1921) and "New York Restaurant" (1922). He also painted two of his many "window" paintings ("The Girl at the Sewing Machine" and "Moonlight Interior"), which depict a figure at an apartment window, shown from the perspective of an outside observer looking intently in.

Despite the disappointments he experienced during this period, Hopper still achieved some recognition by its end. In 1918 he was awarded a $300 prize from the United States Shipping Board for his war poster "Smash the Hun". In 1917 he participated in a group exhibition with the Society of Independent Artists, and in 1920 and 1922 there were his solo exhibitions at the Whitney Studio Club, the predecessor of the Whitney Museum. In 1923 Hopper received two awards for his etchings: the Logan Award from the Chicago Society of Printmakers and the W. A. Bryan Award.

Josephine Nivison Hopper

Hopper met his future wife, the artist Josephine Nivison, in 1905 while studying under Robert Henry. Later, in 1914, they vacationed at the same time at a boarding house in Oganquit, but their close relationship did not begin until 1923, when they met on a summer trip to Gloucester. They were opposites in character: she was short, open, outgoing, and liberal, while he was tall, secretive, shy, quiet, self-absorbed, and conservative. They married a year later, in 1924. Josephine wrote, "Sometimes talking to Eddie is like throwing a stone down a well, except that you don't hear a knock when it falls to the bottom" . She subordinated her career to his own and shared his reclusive lifestyle. They spent the rest of their lives in their second apartment in town and on summer trips to South Truro on Cape Cod. Josephine managed some of her husband's affairs and his relationship with journalists and was his primary model and life companion. Although she posed for many of his paintings, she posed for her own portrait only once.

The heyday of popularity (1923-1950)

By 1923, when Hopper was 41 years old, his creative efforts finally led to a breakthrough. In 1923, thanks to Josephine Nivison, six watercolors of Gloucester landscapes were included in an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. One of them, Mansard Roof, was purchased by the museum for the permanent collection for $100. Critics were delighted with the work, one of them stating, "What vitality, strength and straightforwardness! Look what you can do with the most mundane subject matter." Hopper demonstrated his ability to transfer the appeal of Parisian architecture to American urban and rural soil. According to Carol Troien, curator of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, "Hopper loved the way those houses with their turrets and pinnacles, porches, mansard roofs and ornamentation cast wonderful shadows. He always said he liked painting the sunlight on the wall of the house best of all." The following year, when Hopper sold all of his watercolors in a solo exhibition, he finally decided to leave his work in advertising.

But even after receiving recognition, albeit small, Hopper was still dissatisfied with the way his career had turned out, later refusing public appearances and awards. Thanks to the financial stability that came with steady sales, he continued to live a simple, humble life and continued to create art in his own style for four more decades.

Hopper's 1927 painting "Two in the aisle" was sold for a record for him at that time 1500 dollars, which allowed him to buy a car "Buick", which he used to travel to remote areas of New England. In 1928 the painting "The Loop of the Manhattan Bridge" was sold for $ 2,500. In 1929, Hopper painted "Chop Sway" and "Railroad Sunset." The following year, philanthropist Stephen Clark donated House by the Railroad (1925) to the New York Museum of Modern Art. It was the first oil painting that this museum acquired for its collection.

During the Great Depression, Hopper lived better than many other artists. His status rose dramatically in 1931, when major museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, paid thousands of dollars for his work. That year he sold 30 paintings, including 13 watercolors. The following year he participated in the first Whitney Biennial and continued to exhibit there each time for the rest of his life. In 1933, the Museum of Modern Art organized Hopper's first large-scale retrospective exhibition, which brought him great success and worldwide fame. After that, the artist was accepted into the National Academy of Design.

In 1930 the Hoppers rented a cottage in South Truro, where they spent every summer for the rest of their lives. From there they made trips to other areas when Hopper needed to find fresh material to paint. In the summers of 1937 and 1938, the couple spent extended periods at Wagon-Wilts Farm in South Royalton, Vermont, where Hopper painted a series of watercolors on the White River. These scenes are atypical of Hopper's mature period, as most are "pure" landscapes with no architectural structures or human figures. The watercolor First Arm of the White River (1938), now in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, is the best known of Hopper's Vermont landscapes.

Hopper was very productive during the 1930s and early 1940s, creating works such as "New York Cinema" (1939), "The Girls' Show" (1941), "Midnighters" (1942), "Hotel Lobby" (1943) and "Morning in the City" (1944), among others.

Recent years (1950-1967)

In the late 1940s, Hopper suffered a period of creative crisis. He admitted: "I wish I could paint more. I was tired of reading and going to the movies." Over the next two decades his health deteriorated - he underwent several prostate surgeries and other health problems worsened. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Hopper produced several more major works, including First Row of the Orchestra (1951), The Morning Sun and Hotel by the Railroad (both in 1952) and Intermission (1963). Hopper's last painting, Two Comedians (1966), written a year before his death, is dictated by his love of theater. It depicts two French pantomime actors, a man and a woman, dressed in bright white costumes, making a bow. According to Josephine, her husband implied that these figures were making their last joint bow as husband and wife in their lives.

On May 15, 1967, Hopper died in his studio near Washington Square, New York. He is buried in the family grave at Oak Hill Cemetery in Nyack, New York, his birthplace. His wife, Josephine, died ten months later. She bequeathed their joint collection of more than three thousand works to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Other significant Hopper paintings are held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Demona Center for the Arts and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Hopper's Philosophy

Hopper was always reluctant to discuss himself and his art, explaining, "All the answers are on the canvas." His quiet subjects, according to art historians, "touch us where we are most vulnerable. His sense of color betrays a pure painter, "turning puritanism into purism in his quiet canvases, where sin and grace coexist." According to art historian Lloyd Goodrich, he was "a supremely national artist who could show the real America in his canvases like no other."

The most complete description of Hopper's philosophy as an artist was in a handwritten note entitled "Statement," sent in 1953 to the first issue of Realilty, a magazine he founded with other artists:

When abstract expressionism began to gain popularity in the United States in the mid-1940s, Hopper, including in articles in Reality, spoke out against it and, in general, against abstract art, considering it untenable and "a temporary phase of art. In his view abstractionism "does not reflect life closely enough to last" and "is an incomplete means of conveying the fullness of feeling and emotion, while great art expresses great emotion.

Although Hopper claimed that he did not consciously put psychological meaning into his paintings, he was deeply interested in Freudianism and the power of the subconscious. In 1939 he wrote: "So much in any art is an expression of the subconscious that it seems to me that the most important qualities are invested in it unconsciously, while the conscious mind informs it of almost nothing important.

Style Features

Although Hopper is known for his oil paintings, his initial recognition came from his watercolors as well as some commercially successful etchings. In addition, his diaries and notebooks contain many working pencil sketches.

Hopper paid particular attention to geometric design and the careful placement of human figures in proper balance with their surroundings. He was a slow and methodical artist. He himself described his work this way: "It takes a long time for an idea to come to mind. Then I have to think about it for a long time. I don't start painting until everything is worked out in my head. When I get to the easel, I already have everything ready." He often made preparatory sketches when working on his carefully calculated compositions. Hopper and his wife kept a detailed list of his work, which includes such entries as "a sad woman's face, unlit", "electric light from the ceiling," etc. His work on The New York Cinema (1939) demonstrates the importance he attached to preparation, including 53 sketches of the theater interior and the figure of the thoughtful usherette.

Although Hopper was a realist painter, his "new" realism simplified forms and details, and he used saturated color to enhance contrast and create mood. Thus, central to Hopper's methods was the effective use of light and shadow to create mood. The bright sunlight, as a symbol of insight or revelation, and the shadows it casts play symbolic roles in paintings such as Early Sunday Morning (1930), Summertime (1943), Seven o'clock in the Morning (1948) and Sun in an Empty Room (1963). The artist's use of light and shadow effects has been compared to films of the noir genre.

Themes of paintings

After completing his studies, Hopper painted almost no portraits or self-portraits. In 1939 he painted a commissioned "portrait" of a house, The MacArthur House, where he captures with documentary precision the Victorian architecture of actress Helen Hayes' home. She later recounted, "I suppose I never met a more misanthropic and grouchy person in my life." Hopper grumbled throughout the project and never again accepted commercial orders. Later, in 1950, he also created Portrait of Orlins, a "portrait" of the town on Cape Cod when viewed from its main street.

Although Hopper was very interested in the Civil War and Matthew Brady's photographs of the battlefield, he painted only two historical paintings. Both depicted soldiers on the road to Gettysburg. Also rare in his oeuvre were paintings with active characters. An exception is the painting The Riding Trail (1939), but the difficulties the artist experienced with the proper transfer of equine anatomy may have convinced him to abandon further work in this direction.

The main subjects of Hopper's paintings can be divided into two groups. The first is architectural painting, which depicts everyday objects of American life, such as gas stations, motels, restaurants, theaters, railroads, and street scenes. The second is seascapes and rural landscapes. Speaking of his style, Hopper defined himself as a "mixture of many races" rather than a follower of any school, especially the "Dumpster School" . After Hopper reached stylistic maturity, his art remained consistent and self-sufficient, independent of the many artistic trends that arose and decayed during his long career.

Architectural painting, particularly urban architecture and cityscapes, was the main focus of Hopper's work. He was fascinated by American urban specificity, "our native architecture with its hideous beauty, its fantastic roofs, pseudogothic, French attics, colonial style and a mixture of everything else, with offending colors or subtle harmonies of faded paint, crowding one another along endless streets that stumble into swamps or landfills.

In 1925, Hopper painted Home by the Railroad. This classic work depicts an isolated Victorian wooden mansion partially hidden by a railroad embankment. The work showed Hopper's artistic maturity. Art historian Lloyd Goodrich assessed it as "one of the most bitter and hopeless examples of realism. This canvas was the first in a series of stark rural and urban landscapes using sharp lines and large forms, played with unusual lighting that conveys a sense of loneliness. Although critics and viewers look for meaning and mood in these cityscapes, Hopper himself insisted, "I was more interested in the sunlight on the buildings and figures than in any symbolism." As if to prove this assertion, his later painting The Sun in an Empty Room (1963) was a pure study of sunlight.

Hopper's seascapes fall into three main groups: simple landscapes including only rocks, sea, and grass on the shore; lighthouses and farms; and sailing ships. Sometimes he combined these elements. Most of these paintings feature bright light and good weather-the artist showed little interest in snow or rain or seasonal changes in color. He painted most of the seascapes between 1916 and 1919 on Monegan Island. The painting "Long tack" (1935) is an almost entirely blue canvas with simple elements, while the work "Bottom Waves" (1939) is more complex in composition and depicts a group of young men sailing, a theme reminiscent of Winslow Homer's iconic painting "Gusting Wind" (1873-1876). In Rooms by the Sea (1951), Hopper's work borders on surrealism: an open door offers a view of the sea waves without any hint of a porch, steps, or shore.

The landscapes of the New England countryside, such as "The Filling Station" (1940), are also filled with significance. The painting represents "a different, equally clean, well-lit haven ... open to the needy traveling at night, covering many miles before going to sleep. Several themes characteristic of Hopper are intertwined in this work: the lonely figure, the melancholy of twilight, and the empty road.

Most of Hopper's paintings focus on the subtle interaction of people with the world around them. Single figures as well as couples and groups can be found in these canvases. The main emotions conveyed by these works are loneliness, regret, boredom and humility. These emotions can be portrayed in a variety of settings - in the workplace, in public places, at home, on the road, or on vacation. It is as if the artist were creating frames for a film or mise-en-scene for a play. Hopper portrayed his characters in the moment before the events reach their climax, or just after.

Hopper's solitary figures are mostly women: clothed, half-dressed, and naked, often reading, looking out the window, or in the workplace. In the early 1920s he painted his first such paintings: The Girl at the Sewing Machine (1921), New York Interior (another woman sewing, 1921) and Moonlight Interior (nude, 1923). However, the paintings Automat (1927) and Hotel Room (1931), characteristic of his mature style, emphasize loneliness more strongly and openly.

Gail Levine, Hopper's biographer, wrote about the painting Hotel Room:

Room in New York (1932) and An Evening on Cape Cod (1939) are striking examples of Hopper's "paired" paintings. In the first case, the young couple seems alienated and avoiding communication - he reads the newspaper, and she sits aimlessly at the piano. The viewer is given the role of a voyeur, as if looking through a telescope through an apartment window, peeking in on a couple who have lost intimacy. In a later painting, an elderly couple, who have little to say to each other, play with their dog, whose attention, in turn, is diverted from their owners. Hopper takes a more ambitious approach to the theme of couples in A Tour of Philosophy (1959). A middle-aged man in a depressed mood sits on the edge of his bed. Next to him is an open book and a half-dressed woman. On the floor in front of him is a patch of light falling from a window. Josephine Hopper noted in their diary, "The open book is Plato, re-read too late."

Levin interprets the picture as follows:

In another "paired" painting, Office at Night (1940), Hopper creates a psychological puzzle. The man in the painting is absorbed in his paperwork, and next to him is an attractive female receptionist pulling a file out of a file cabinet. Several sketches of the painting show how Hopper experimented with the arrangement of the two figures, perhaps to heighten the eroticism and tension. Hopper gives the viewer the opportunity to judge for himself whether the man is really uninterested in the woman's attractiveness or whether he is working diligently to distract from her. Another interesting aspect is the way Hopper uses three sources of light--from a table lamp, through a window, and indirect light from above.

The most famous of Hopper's paintings, Midnighters (1942), is among his "group" paintings. It depicts customers sitting at the counter of a 24-hour diner. The shapes and diagonals are carefully constructed. The point of view is cinematic, from the side of the sidewalk, as if the viewer were approaching the diner. The sharp electric light makes it stand out in the darkness of the night street, enhancing the mood. As in many of Hopper's paintings, the action in this painting is kept to a minimum. The diner is modeled on a similar establishment in Greenwich Village. Both Hopper and his wife posed for the figures in the painting, which Jo gave the title to. The inspiration for the painting may have been Ernest Hemingway's short story "The Killers," which Hopper admired, or the more philosophical work "Where the Light is Clear." Later, Hopper said that the title of his painting (literally translated "Night Hawks") had more to do with raptors in the night than loneliness.

Hopper's second most famous work after Midnighters is another urban painting, Early Sunday Morning (originally titled Seventh Avenue). It depicts a deserted streetscape under bright side lighting, in which a fire hydrant and the advertising pole of a barbershop are replaced by human figures. Hopper had originally intended to place the figures in the upper windows, but left them blank to enhance the sense of desolation.

After his student years, Hopper depicted only women in his nude paintings. Unlike artists of the past, who painted the female nude figure to glorify the female form and emphasize female attractiveness, Hopper's nude women are solitary and psychologically vulnerable. An exception is "The Girl's Show" (1941), where a redheaded striptease queen strides confidently across the stage to the accompaniment of musicians in the pit. "The Girl's Show" was inspired by Hopper's visit to a burlesque show a few days earlier. The artist's wife, as usual, who posed for him for this painting as well, noted in her diary, "Ed begins a new canvas - a burlesque queen performing a striptease - and I pose in what the hell I was born before the stove - nothing but high heels and a winning dance pose."

Symbolism and Interpretation

Hopper's paintings were often attributed subjects and themes that the artist may not have had in mind. While the key to a painting's meaning may be its title, titles for Hopper's works were sometimes chosen by others, or the artist and his wife gave them in a way that left it unclear whether the title had any real connection to the meaning that the artist was putting into the painting. For example, Hopper once told an interviewer that he "loved 'Early Sunday Morning' ... but it wasn't necessarily Sunday. That word was later suggested by someone else."

The craze for a theme or message that Hopper didn't really put into his paintings even touched his wife. When Jo Hopper described the figure in "Morning on Cape Cod" as a woman "deciding whether the weather is nice enough to hang laundry," Hopper contradicted her: "Did I say anything like that? You're making her out to be Norman Rockwell. And from my point of view, she's just looking out the window." Another similar example is described in a Time magazine article in 1948:

Hopper's American Realism

Hopper, who focused mainly on quiet scenes and very rarely showed dynamics in his paintings, was a realist in the same form as another leading American artist, Andrew Wyeth, but Hopper's technique was quite different from Wyeth's hypertrophied, detailed style. In many ways Hopper shared the love of cities of artists such as John Sloan and George Bellows, but he lacked their characteristic impetuosity and violence. If Joseph Stella and Georgia O'Keeffe extolled the monumental structures of the city, Hopper reduced them to everyday geometric forms and conveyed the urban rhythm as soulless and dangerous rather than "elegant or seductive.

Deborah Lyons, Hopper's biographer, writes: "Often his works reflect our own moments of revelation. Once we have seen Hopper's interpretations, they exist in our minds parallel to our own experience. For us, a certain type of home forever remains 'Hopper's home,' perhaps carrying within it the mystery with which Hopper enriched our own gaze." Hopper's paintings, according to Lyons, throw light on the seemingly ordinary and typical scenes of our daily lives and give us a reason for insight. Hopper's art takes the stark American landscape and lonely gas stations and creates a sense of beautiful anticipation.

Artist Charles Burchfield, whom Hopper admired and was compared to, wrote of Hopper: "He achieves such full vitality that in his interpretations of the houses and phenomena of New York life you can find all the human meanings you want. He also attributed Hopper's success to his "bold individualism ... Thanks to him we have regained that strong American independence that Thomas Eakins gave us, but which was temporarily lost. Hopper regarded this as a great compliment, for he considered Eakins the greatest American artist. At the same time, he was generally negative about comparing his own work with that of his contemporaries. For example, Hopper disliked comparisons, in terms of the subject matter of his work, to the realist painter Norman Rockwell, as he considered himself more subtle, less illustrative, and certainly not sentimental. The artist also rejected comparisons to Grant Wood and Thomas Benton, stating, "I never wanted to create an American genre painting...I think American genre painters depicted America caricaturedly. I, on the other hand, always wanted to remain myself. French painters don't talk about 'French landscapes,' or English painters don't talk about 'English landscapes.


Hopper had a strong influence on the art world and pop culture in particular. Numerous reproductions of Hopper's works and their seeming accessibility (compared to the "highbrow" French avant-gardism) made him one of the most popular artists in the United States. In particular, film director and artist David Lynch named him his favorite artist. Some critics classify Hopper - along with de Chirico and Baltus - as a representative of "magical realism" in the visual arts. Although he had no formal pupils, many artists, including Willem de Kooning, Jim Dine and Mark Rothko, recognized his influence. An illustration of this influence can be seen in Rothko's early work, Composition I (c. 1931), which directly reinterprets Hopper's painting Chop suey.

Hopper's cinematic compositions and dramatic use of light and shadow made him a favorite of directors. For example, House by the Railroad became the prototype for the house in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The same picture is known to have influenced the house in Terrence Malick's Days of Harvest. The 1981 film Penny from Heaven includes a live-action picture of Midnighters with the lead actors sitting in a restaurant. German director Wim Wenders also mentions Hopper's influence on his work. In his 1997 film "The End of Violence" the actors also recreate the composition of "Midnighters". Horror film director Dario Argento went much further and accurately recreated the interior of the diner and the images of the Midnighters' customers in his film Blood Red (1976). Ridley Scott drew inspiration from the same film for Blade Runner. Director Sam Mendes, working on the lighting in 2002's Cursed Path, took his inspiration from Hopper's paintings, particularly The New York Cinema.

In 1993, Madonna was so inspired by Hopper's The Girl's Show (1941) that she named her world tour after it and used some theatrical elements from it. In 2004, the British guitarist John Squire (former guitarist of The Stone Roses) released Marshall's House, a concept album inspired by Hopper's works: its song titles repeat the names of the artist's paintings.


In 2004 a major exhibition of Hopper's paintings was held in Europe, at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne and at the Tate Gallery in London. The exhibition at the Tate Gallery was the second most popular in the history of the museum, with 420,000 visitors during its three months of operation.

In 2007, an exhibition devoted to Hopper's period of greatest achievement, from about 1925 to the middle of the twentieth century, opened at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The exhibit consisted of fifty oil paintings, thirty watercolors, and twelve etchings, including Midnighters, Chop Sway, and Lighthouse and Buildings. The exhibition was organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Art Institute of Chicago, with the support of the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

In 2010, the Hermitage Foundation Museum (fr.) (rus. in Lausanne, Switzerland) held an exhibition that encompassed all of Hopper's work. In 2011, the Whitney Museum of American Art held an exhibition entitled "Edward Hopper and His Times. In 2012 there was an exhibition at the Grand Palais in Paris.

Art Market

In all, Hopper painted 366 oil paintings, and during the 1950s, when he was in his seventies, he produced about five paintings a year. The art dealer Frank Wren, who worked with Hopper for many years and organized the artist's first solo exhibition in 1924, sold the painting "Hotel Window" to collector Olga Nipke in 1957 for $7,000 (equivalent to $62,444 at the 2018 exchange rate). In 1999, Forbes Gallery sold it privately to actor Steve Martin for about $10 million. In 2006, Martin sold it for $26.89 million at a Sotheby's auction in New York, an auction record for an artist's paintings.

In 2013, the Pennsylvania Academy put the painting East Wind Over Weehawken up for sale in hopes of getting $22-28 million for it, which was to go toward building an endowment and adding to the collection of historical and contemporary art. The painting was originally purchased in 1952, fifteen years before the artist's death, at a very low price. At a Christie's auction in New York, the painting was sold for a then-record 36 million for Hopper's paintings to an anonymous buyer.

Collector Barney Ebsworth, who owned Chop Sway, had promised to donate it to the Seattle Art Museum. After his death, however, ownership of the painting passed to his heirs, and in November 2018 the painting was sold for $92 million, a new record for Hopper's work.

Hopper was a conservative in politics and social issues. For example, he argued that "only people close to them should write about the lives of artists. Hopper accepted things as they were and demonstrated a lack of idealism. He was cultured, sophisticated, and very well-read, and many of his paintings depict people reading. He was generally a good conversationalist. By outlook, Hopper classified himself as a Stoic and Fatalist and was a quiet, reserved man with a mild sense of humor. He always took his art and the art of others seriously.

In 2000, Hopper's birthplace was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is now the Edward Hopper House Museum.


  1. Edward Hopper
  2. Хоппер, Эдвард
  3. ^ a b Levin, Gail, Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1995, p.11, ISBN 0-394-54664-4
  4. ^ Levin 1995, p. 9
  5. ^ Levin 1995, p. 12
  6. 1 2 RKDartists (нидерл.)
  7. https://rkd.nl/explore/artists/39704
  8. 1 2 Levin, 1995, p. 11.
  9. Levin, 1995, p. 12.
  10. « Dossier de presse de l'exposition Visages, 21 février-22 juin 2014, Centre de la Vieille Charité, Marseille », sur cultivoo.com (consulté le 29 janvier 2018).
  11. Collectif, Edward Hopper, 1989, p. 33.

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