The man in a concrete wall in the tenement city

Edward Hopper spent four decades chronicling the isolation of modern urban life: people unconnected to each other in a cafe, a lone person on an elevated train, and building facades almost empty of humanity.

Yet perhaps none of his paintings are as haunting as “Office in a Small City,” from 1953. Here, Hopper gives us a symbolic everyman with his shirtsleeves rolled up—sitting at a desk inside an office with windows so large it almost resembles a zoo exhibit.

He’s gazing past the tenement tops across the street, ostensibly imagining a bigger life for himself, one not confined by the low-rise cityscape he’s part of right now.

“Reprising one of his signature subjects—a solitary figure, physically and emotionally detached from his surroundings and other people—it was described by the artist’s wife as ‘the man in concrete wall,'” explains the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has the painting in its collection.

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5 Responses to “The man in a concrete wall in the tenement city”

  1. The man in a concrete wall in the tenement city | Real Estate Marketplace Says:

    […] Source: FS – NYC Real Estate The man in a concrete wall in the tenement city […]

  2. keenanpatrick424 Says:

    Put a computer screen on the desk to express the anomie of today’s tech world.

  3. Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk Says:

    Get used to it buddy, the future is now!

  4. Ty Says:

    I often felt Hopper was railing against the isolating onset of modernism. Everything stripped bare of “unnecessary” ornamentation including our lives. Even the sun cannot warm us.

  5. A couple, a brownstone stoop, and an “unspoken question” in a 1956 Hopper painting | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] When I think of Edward Hopper, his etchings, prints, and paintings from the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s come to mind—mostly images of the modern metropolis and the isolation fostered by the urban network of bridges, elevated trains, and concrete office buildings. […]

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