I had a relatively easy time deciding on Edward Hopper as this month's artist. I did not
have an easy time deciding on which painting I wanted to highlight. Because of that, and because I will need to share some of his other works to help illustrate my thoughts and feelings about Hopper, I will post some of his other paintings in this blog. (For those of you who have happened upon this blog without going through my profile, go to my profile to see the selected painting - Summertime
The reason I so easily chose Edward Hopper
is because, as I was perusing his work, I found myself leaning back, taking a deep breath, and just sinking in to the paintings. I actively enjoy looking at them. He is a master of light and shadow and once said that all he ever aspired to paint was “sunlight on the side of a house.” When I look at his paintings I can touch the light, smell the quality of the air, feel that quietness that seems to permeate his work.
He's often thought of as an artist who painted loneliness, sadness, and the American condition. I think he was most excellent at capturing moments in time. They're voyeuristic on multiple levels. There's a sense of watching and of being watched. Many of his subjects include windows, doors, buildings, trains, which, aside from intensifying the voyeuristic quality, also seem to imply transition and movement. Your eye follows the woman's gaze as she looks off in to the distance. We peek in to the windows, around corners, out of doors. They feel familiar
but mysterious. There is a loneliness but it is not sad.
I finally set on Summertime
as a tribute to the end of summer. I think a paragraph from this article
captures the feel of the painting - "In Summertime
, Hopper suggests a sweltering summer day with the short, heavy shadows of noon. The movement of the curtains, blown no doubt by a fan inside the building, emphasizes the airlessness. The opened doorway remains in shadow, denying us a view of the interior beyond the patterned floor of the entrance. The woman's rounded forms, revealed by the clinging translucent dress, contrast with the severe masonry."
Here are some more of his paintings that you can sink in to.
Morning Sun, 1952
New York Movie, 1939
Compartment C, Car 293, 1938
Sun In An Empty Room, 1963
Pennsylvania Coal Town, 1947
So how do his paintings make you feel?