Edward Hopper: The Inner Life

Edward Hopper- Inner Life of an Artist

“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.” -Edward Hopper

“Edward Hopper broke into prominence around the 1920s, coinciding with his partnership with future wife Josephine Nivison. He had begun to find his distinctive style, utilizing a visual technique similar to Impressionism but ending up more in a Realist manner with the considerable detail that he still paid attention to. Critics have dubbed Hopper’s distinctive style “soft realism.”

“He painted modern cityscapes and urban dwellers in a moody, dark palette. At the same time, Hopper’s continued on with his alternative idyllic subjects such as seascapes and rural scenery. Hopper’s works were marked with a calculated discipline in composition, with clever and compelling visual balance that draws the viewer’s eyes to desired subjects in the frame. A viewer would sense highly dramatic tension from Hopper’s scenes, especially those involving human subjects. Void of dynamism or physical action, the subjects communicated instead with nuances. Hopper’s works usually expressed and elicited solitude, withdrawal, pensiveness, regret, and other emotional themes.

“Despite the Great Depression that hit in the 1930s, Hopper was fortunate to have enjoyed even more prominence, with his works being recognized and bought by the most important museums in America. He continued to be extremely productive, coming up with works well into the second half of the 20th century.” -TotallyHistory.com

IN DEPTH:

BOOK: Edward Hopper
by Carol Troyen
"One of the most enduringly popular painters of the twentieth century, Edward Hopper produced many works now considered icons of Modern art. Canvases such as Drugstore, New York Movie, and the universally recognized (and often parodied) Nighthawks not only reshaped what painting looked like in America, but created a visual language for middle-class life and its discontents. This extensive new assessment of Hopper, which accompanies a major traveling exhibition, examines the dynamics of the artist's creative process and discusses his work within the cultural currents of his day--examining the influence not only of other painters, but also of such media as literature and film. And while most studies have tended to see Hopper as the great painter of alienation, this one takes a much broader, more nuanced, and ultimately more representative view. Spanning the entirety of Hopper's career, but with particular emphasis on his heyday in the 30s and 40s, Edward Hopper highlights the artist's greatest achievements while discussing such topics as his absorption of European influences, critical reactions to his work, the relation of Realism to Modernism, the artist's fascination with architecture, his depiction of women, and the struggle in his last years to produce original works. Illustrated with over 150 oils, watercolors and prints, and including essays by several noted scholars in the field and an extensive chronology and bibliography, this is the most comprehensive volume on Hopper produced in the last decade...(more).
BOOK: Edward Hopper- The Art and the Artist
by Gail Levin
"This sumptuous book presents the full range of Edward Hopper's work and offers greater access to Edward Hopper, the man, than any other single volume. Hopper is generally considered the major twentieth-century realist. Such paintings as House by the Railroad, Early Sunday Morning, and Nighthawks seem to embody the very character of our time. Yet few people have penetrated the mask of Hopper's public image. Here, Gail Levin has gone beyond the standard evaluations of the man and his work to investigate the authentic identity of the artist and the way his personality informed his art. She has uncovered aspects of Hopper's life (and even unknown works) that provide the first comprehensive view of the artists early development. The fascinating and often poignant story of Hopper's long struggle for recognition gives new insight into his later pessimism. A complex man is revealed, introspective and intellectual, yet romantic, illuminating the many levels of meaning in the paintings of his maturity. In addition to Hopper's watercolors and oil paintings, there are study drawings for his major works and documentary photographs illuminating all phases of his life...(more).