On this episode of Art Institute Essentials Tour, take a closer look at Nighthawks, painted by Edward Hopper in 1942. Inspired by “a restaurant on New York’s Greenwich Avenue where two streets meet,” Hopper’s painting, one of the best-known images of 20th-century art, has a timeless, universal quality that transcends locale.
Edward Hopper’s world-famous, instantly recognizable paintings articulate an idiosyncratic view of modern life, unfolding in a world of lonely lighthouses, gas stations, movie theaters, bars and hotel rooms. With his impressive subjects, independent pictorial vocabulary and virtuoso play of colors, Hopper’s work continues to this day to color our memory and imaginary of the United States in the first half of the 20th century.
A fresh look at Hopper’s iconic vision of the American landscape—its gas stations, diners and highways.
Hopper began his career as an illustrator and became famous around the globe for his oil paintings. These paintings testify to the artist’s great interest in the effects of color and his mastery in depicting light and shadow, at work whether the artist was painting alienated figures in dreamlike interiors or desolate American landscapes.
Edward Hopper: A New Perspective on Landscape is published to accompany a major exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler of Hopper’s iconic images of the vast American landscape. The catalog gathers together paintings, watercolors and drawings made by the artist between the 1910s and the 1960s, and supplements them with essays by Erika Doss, David Lubin and Katharina Rüppell, focused on the subject of depicting the landscape.
Edward Hopper (1882–1967) was the master of American Realism. His paintings captured the mood and atmosphere of his era. His style of painting and subject matter became the stylistic foundation for a distinct type of American modernism. A source of inspiration for countless painters, photographers and filmmakers, Hopper’s body of work continues to be influential to this day.
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From a Spectator USA online review:
Isolation was a persistent theme in Hopper’s art and life. Was he dogged by isolation or did he pursue it? ‘Did anybody really know this silent, non-communicative man?’ asked Raphael Soyer in a 1981 interview, 14 years after Hopper’s death. His friends recollected a cynical and taciturn artist, self-doubting, introspective and distrustful of fame. But before Hopper became the painter of lonely figures in all-night diners, he was the illustrator of raucous party scenes and smiling couples waltzing together at summer fêtes.
Edward Hopper and the American Hotel, a rich exhibition now at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, highlights the contrast between Hopper’s early, lesser-known years as a commercial illustrator and his later eminence as laconic American icon, the serious solitary who painted crumbling Victorian boarding houses, faded hotel lobbies and highway motels.
To read more: https://spectator.us/motel-room-ones-own-vmfa-edward-hopper/