Edward Hopper

American, Realist, 1882-1967

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Night Hawks
Edward Hopper
298 USD
 

Automat
Edward Hopper
242 USD

Chop Suey
Edward Hopper
244 USD

Girl at a Sewing Machine
Edward Hopper
232 USD
 
Hotel Lobby
Edward Hopper
244 USD
 
Office in a Small City
Edward Hopper
241 USD
 
Summer Interior
Edward Hopper
227 USD
 
Road in Maine
Edward Hopper
226 USD
 
New York Restaurant
Edward Hopper
225 USD
 
The House by the Railroad
Edward Hopper
227 USD
 
East Wind Over Weehawken
Edward Hopper
272 USD
 
Hotel Window
Edward Hopper
238 USD
 
Hotel by the Railroad
Edward Hopper
241 USD
 
Houses of Squam Light, Gloucester
Edward Hopper
217 USD
 
The Bootleggers
Edward Hopper
223 USD
 
Lighthouse and Buildings,
Portland Head

Edward Hopper
220 USD
 
Sun on Prospect Street
Edward Hopper
220 USD
 
Bridle Path
Edward Hopper
219 USD
 
White River at Sharon
Edward Hopper
220 USD
 
Gas
Edward Hopper
219 USD
 
Ground Swell
Edward Hopper
222 USD
 
Cobbs Barns and Distant Houses
Edward Hopper
224 USD
 
First Branch of the White River, Vermont
Edward Hopper
224 USD
 
Eleven A.M.
Edward Hopper
229 USD
 
Sunday
Edward Hopper
228 USD
 
Drug Store
Edward Hopper
221 USD
 
Two on the Aisle
Edward Hopper
232 USD
 
Room in New York
Edward Hopper
225 USD
 
Office at Night
Edward Hopper
224 USD
 
New York Movie
Edward Hopper
225 USD
 
Pennsylvania Coal Town
Edward Hopper
220 USD
 
Tables for Ladies
Edward Hopper
225 USD

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Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967) was a prominent American realist painter and printmaker. While he was most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. Both in his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life.

Personality and vision

Always reluctant to discuss himself and his art, Hopper simply summed up his art by stating, "The whole answer is there on the canvas." Hopper was stoic and fatalistic—a quiet introverted man with a gentle sense of humor and a frank manner. Conservative in politics and social matters, he accepted things as they were and displayed a lack of idealism. Cultured and sophisticated, he was well-read, and many of his paintings show figures reading. He was generally good company and unperturbed by silences, though sometimes taciturn, grumpy or detached. He was always serious about his art and the art of others, and when asked would return frank opinions.

Hopper's most systematic declaration of his philosophy as an artist was given in a handwritten note, entitled "Statement", submitted in 1953 to the journal, Reality:

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. No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination. One of the weaknesses of much abstract painting is the attempt to substitute the inventions of the human intellect for a private imaginative conception.

The inner life of a human being is a vast and varied realm and does not concern itself alone with stimulating arrangements of color, form and design.

The term life used in art is something not to be held in contempt, for it implies all of existence and the province of art is to react to it and not to shun it.

Painting will have to deal more fully and less obliquely with life and nature's phenomena before it can again become great.

Though Hopper claimed that he didn't consciously embed psychological meaning in his paintings, he was deeply interested in Freud and the power of the subconscious mind. He wrote in 1939, "So much of every art is an expression of the subconscious that it seems to me most of all the important qualities are put there unconsciously, and little of importance by the conscious intellect.

Methods

Although he is best known for his oil paintings, Hopper initially achieved recognition for his watercolors and he also produced some commercially successful etchings. Additionally, his notebooks contain high-quality pen and pencil sketches, which were never meant for public viewing.

Hopper paid particular attention to geometrical design and the careful placement of human figures in proper balance with their environment. He was a slow and methodical artist; as he wrote, "It takes a long time for an idea to strike. Then I have to think about it for a long time. I don't start painting until I have it all worked out in my mind. I'm all right when I get to the easel". He often made preparatory sketches to work out his carefully calculated compositions. He and his wife kept a detailed ledger of their works noting such items as "sad face of woman unlit", "electric light from ceiling", and "thighs cooler".

For New York Movie (1939), Hopper demonstrates his thorough preparation with more than 53 sketches of the theater interior and the figure of the pensive usherette.

The effective use of light and shadow to create mood also is central to Hopper's methods. Bright sunlight (as an emblem of insight or revelation), and the shadows it casts, also play symbolically powerful roles in Hopper paintings such as Early Sunday Morning (1930), Summertime (1943), Seven A.M. (1948), and Sun in an Empty Room (1963). His use of light and shadow effects have been compared to the cinematography of film noir.

Although a realist painter, Hopper's "soft" realism simplified shapes and details. He used saturated color to heighten contrast and create mood.

Subjects and themes

Hopper derived his subject matter from two primary sources: one, the common features of American life (gas stations, motels, restaurants, theaters, railroads, and street scenes) and its inhabitants; and two, seascapes and rural landscapes. Regarding his style, Hopper defined himself as "an amalgam of many races" and not a member of any school, particularly the "Ashcan School". Once Hopper achieved his mature style, his art remained consistent and self-contained, in spite of the numerous art trends that came and went during his long career.

Hopper's seascapes fall into three main groups: pure landscapes of rocks, sea, and beach grass; lighthouses and farmhouses; and sailboats. Sometimes he combined these elements. Most of these paintings depict strong light and fair weather; he showed little interest in snow or rain scenes, or in seasonal color changes. He painted the majority of the pure seascapes in the period between 1916 and 1919 on Monhegan Island. Hopper's The Long Leg (1935) is a nearly all-blue sailing picture with the simplest of elements, while his Ground Swell (1939) is more complex and depicts a group of youngsters out for a sail, a theme reminiscent of Winslow Homer's iconic Breezing Up (1876).

Urban architecture and cityscapes also were major subjects for Hopper. He was fascinated with the American urban scene, "our native architecture with its hideous beauty, its fantastic roofs, pseudo-gothic, French Mansard, Colonial, mongrel or what not, with eye-searing color or delicate harmonies of faded paint, shouldering one another along interminable streets that taper off into swamps or dump heaps." 

Influence

Hopper's influence on the art world and pop culture is undeniable. Though he had no formal students, many artists have cited him as an influence, including Willem de Kooning, Jim Dine, and Mark Rothko. An illustration of Hopper's influence is Rothko's early work Composition I (c. 1931), which is a direct paraphrase of Hopper's Chop Suey.

Hopper's cinematic compositions and dramatic use of light and dark has made him a favorite among filmmakers.

Art market

Works by Hopper rarely appear on the market. The artist was not prolific, painting just 366 canvases; during the 1950s, when he was in his 70s, he produced approximately five paintings a year. Hopper's longtime dealer, Frank Rehn, who gave the artist his first solo show in 1924, sold Hotel Window (1956) to collector Olga Knoepke for $7,000 ($50,270 in 2006 currency) in 1957. In 1999, the Forbes Collection sold it to actor Steve Martin privately for around $10 million. In 2006, Martin sold it for $26.89 million at Sotheby's New York, an auction record for the artist.

In 2013 the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts put Hopper's East Wind Over Weehawken (1934) up for sale, hoping to garner the $22–$28 million at which the painting is valued, in order to establish a fund to acquire "contemporary art" that would appreciate in value. It is a street scene rendered in dark, earthy tones depicting the gabled house at 1001 Boulevard East at the corner of 49th Street in Weehawken, New Jersey, and is considered one of Hopper's best works. It was acquired directly from the dealer handling the artist's paintings in 1952, fifteen years before the death of the painter, at a very low price. The painting sold for a record-breaking $36 million at Christie's in New York, to an anonymous telephone bidder. That same year, Weehawken resident and comedian Susie Felber commissioned a modern remake of the painting in order to raise money for the Weehawken PTPO. The remake, which was created by Brooklyn-based painter Stephen Gardner, depicts the scene as it appears today, with flowers and satellite dishes, and in lighter tones. The painting was purchased on ebay for $510 by computer programmer Ligia Builes, who owns the house depicted in the painting.

Source: Wikipedia