Thursday, January 19, 2006

ART GALLERY - Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), the best-known American realist of the inter-war period and one of my favourits. Nighthawks 1942, Oil on canvas 30 x 60 in.,The Art Institute of Chicago.

This is not just an image of big-city loneliness, but of existential loneliness: the sense that we have (perhaps overwhelmingly in late adolescence) of being on our own in the human condition. When we look at that dark New York street, we would expect the fluorescent-lit cafe to be welcoming, but it is not. There is no way to enter it, no door. The extreme brightness means that the people inside are held, exposed and vulnerable. They hunch their shoulders defensively. Hopper did not actually observe them, because he used himself as a model for both the seated men, as if he perceived men in this situation as clones. He modeled the woman, as he did all of his female characters, on his wife Jo. See more here.



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