Posts Tagged ‘Edward Hopper’

The lonely view from a room in Brooklyn

January 16, 2014

Edward Hopper provides few clues about the location or even the season in his haunting 1932 painting “Room in Brooklyn.”

Hopperroominbrooklyn1932

It’s a stark, isolating view of flat, impenetrable Brooklyn rooftops and a lone figure brushed by light in a neatened bedroom.

Is she reading? Contemplating? Or perhaps she’s looking down on the sidewalk, anticipating a guest’s arrival.

Where in the city is this row of brick buildings?

January 9, 2013

When Washington Square North resident Edward Hopper finished this strangely haunting painting of simple low-rise buildings in 1930, it was recorded in his ledger as “Seventh Avenue Shops.”

Hopperearlysundaymorning

But could this really be on Seventh Avenue? Not according to a 2007 report from the Greenwich Village Historical Society, which explains that the distinctive cornices, barber shop pole, fire hydrant, and morning shadows place the inspiration not on Seventh Avenue but at 231-235 Bleecker Street, just west of Carmine Street.

BleeckerstreetnymagazineAdding to the mystery is that Hopper later changed the name of the painting to “Early Sunday Morning,” which it’s still known by today.

[Photo comparison published in New York magazine, courtesy of the Whitney Museum of Art, John Carbonella]

Many of Hopper’s other works—deceptively simple, solitary, often people-free city corners and streets—have been traced to specific locations that still stand.

Maybe Hopper did draw his inspiration from this slice of Bleecker Street, or perhaps it’s a composite of details from several buildings.

Jeremiah at Vanishing New York has an intriguing take on the “Early Sunday Morning,” as well as a fascinating look at where Hopper’s “Nighthawks” might have been.

The “enigmatic emptiness” of a city sidewalk

October 25, 2012

“Edward Hopper’s haunting realist canvas evokes an enigmatic emptiness that has become the artist’s trademark,” states the caption accompanying this 1924 painting on the website of the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia.

“His sparsely populated New York cityscapes, bleak New England views, and lonely interiors share the same stark simplicity.”

“In New York Pavements Hopper used bold cropping, an elevated point of view, strong diagonal lines, and a simple, bleached palette to achieve an odd and detached effect.”

“From a bird’s-eye perspective, the only hint of narrative is the figure emerging from the lower left.”

It’s such an ordinary city scene yet so disquieting. Who is the nun with the baby carriage, and what neighborhood is this?

Where exactly is this 1913 corner saloon?

March 26, 2012

Edward Hopper’s simply titled “Corner Saloon,” from 1913, depicts the kind of regular city bar on an ordinary street corner that makes it almost impossible to figure out exactly where it was located.

The smokestacks give a hint: probably by a river.

And a caption from the Metropolitan Museum of Art website states that it’s the same corner Hopper sketched in 1921′s “Night Shadows” (right).

It’s an “actual location in New York . . . It is a downtown street near the riverfront, marked by a simple brick building with a painted sign,” the Met says. But where?

Fashionable women at a Chop Suey restaurant

January 16, 2012

Edward Hopper’s 1929 painting Chop Suey is a reminder of a much older New York, when this dish was advertised in neon outside Chinese restaurants around the city.

“These fashionable women are dining at a modest Chinese restaurant not unlike one the Hoppers frequented,” writes the National Gallery of Art.

“Characteristically, Hopper depicts a moment before or after the main event—here, the meal—takes place. Also typical is the isolation and ambiguous relationship between the figures: it is not clear whether the dining companions are even looking at or conversing with one another.”

The solitary view “From Williamsburg Bridge”

November 21, 2011

“‘From Williamsburg Bridge’ is a city scene without noise or motion,” explains a page devoted to this 1928 Edward Hopper painting on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

It looks like the Delancey Street approach to the bridge, a row of tenement tops that may still be there today.

“The light on the buildings is bright and steady, and the only person visible is a woman sitting in profile in a top-floor window,” states the Met site.

“The broad format of this painting implies the continuation of the scene beyond the limits of the canvas: we can imagine the street, the girders of the nearby bridge, and perhaps other, identical brownstone buildings with solitary tenants lost in reverie.”

Looking into Edward Hopper’s “Night Windows”

December 6, 2010

Most of us have found ourselves on either end of this kind of scenario—painted in 1928 by Greenwich Village resident Hopper.

The Whitney has an exhibition of Edward Hopper paintings and prints, as well as those of his contemporaries like Martin Lewis and Reginald Marsh. It runs through April 2011.


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