Edward Hopper 1882-1967 BACK

Edward hopper is considered the first significant American painter in twentieth-century art. After decades of patient work, Hopper enjoyed a success and popularity that since the 1950s has continually grown. His authentic portrayals of the American landscape have become icons of American culture. As a student of Robert Henri, founder of the Ash Can School, Henri's realism greatly influenced Hopper's work. His early work shows his love of architecture as a vechicle for expressing shadow, light, and color. Hopper dreamed of becoming a naval architect. This lifelong fascination with sailing and the sea provdied a subject to which Hopper consistently returned to throughout his career as a painter.

In 1921 his paintings caught the eye of leading critics and dealers. He swiftly rose to the status of America's foremost Realist. He once described his work as "an art based on the American scene." His evocative canvases confront the viewer with images of isolation and alienation that echoed his own introspection.

An excerpt from Hopper by Ivo Kranzfelder
Hopper generally spent half of the year in New York and the other half in South Truro, Massachusetts. The studio house where he and his wife lived during the summer months had been finished in 1934. The contrast between city and country soon became a fixed formula in Hopper's work, which tended to set idyllic country life against the impersonal aspects of life in the big city.

This topic almost automatically brings us back to the time Hopper spent in Paris, and the influence exerted on him by Impressionism. "The big city picture of the nineteenth century was born in spring 1873, when Claude Monet painted the view of Boulevard des Capucines, looking down from the studio window of the Paris photographer Felix Nadar. "I Although many Impressionists were fascinated by the modern city, and especially by the new technology of iron construction - see Gustave Caillebotte in particular - most of them continued to gravitate to the suburbs, out into the country, or to the seaside. The Surrealists, at a later date, likewise preferred the periphery of Paris, where they browsed through the flea markets or explored back lanes in search of the miracles of the mundane.

Hopper's procedure was once described as a "mythicization of the banal," and the banality of his everyday scenes does in fact seem overlain by an enigmatic, almost surrealistic poetry. So the reference to Surreal- ism is not really far-fetched, as the juxtaposition of Hopper's pictures of gas stations with a quotation from Aragon has already suggested. The Sur- realist principle, basically, involved bringing together apparently incom- mensurable, unrelated objects on a common plane, which functioned like a projection surface for a new and surprising image of reality. Hopper, like the Surrealists, had a special eye for trite, ordinary, supposedly insig- nificant things. Another trait they had in common was an interest in the phenomenon of voyeurism, although the Surrealists exploited the erotic and sexual connotations of the theme in an incomparably more direct way than Hopper.

featured links:

The Artchive
A great art history resource. Over 300 artists are online.

(Click Here)

Masters of

The best photography resource on the web.

(Click Here)

Image List

Tables for Ladies, 1930

Ground Swell, 1939

Nighthawks, 1942

Approaching a City, 1946

High Noon, 1948

Seven am, 1948

Rooms by the Sea, 1951

People in the Sun, 1960

Support MyStudios:

Search Now:
In Association with

Support MyStudios!

This listing of artists is not official. It is merely intended to group the artists in an easy to navigate format.

Period List
artists by period...
Modernism ABC List
artists in alphabetical order...