Saturday, October 30, 2010

Edward Hopper

Went to the Whitney for their Edward Hopper exhibit, Modern life: Edward Hopper and his time. The exhibit focused on Hopper's influences and contemporaries, each room about a certain group of artists he shared themes and influences with (the Ashcan School of painters from the early 20th century, the Precisionists who like him explored abstract architectural shapes, another group who depicted common American life scenes, etc...).

Edward Hopper is one of my favorite painters, and seeing his works in person was amazing. It has little to do with looking at a reproduction. What struck me the most, and that I've always liked anyway, is the way he paints light. And apparently he has said that his favorite thing was to paint light on the side of a house. But he can paint it remarkably well on someone's face as well, like in Soir Bleu (1914):

It's hard to see on the reproduction, but there is this little patch of light on the standing woman's shoulder, it's so delicately rendered. I like the composition too, it's one of my favorites of his.

Most of the time I buy postcards when I go to a museum, usually of the exhibit I just saw, but this time I just couldn't, it made me sad looking at books about Hopper and posters. It would've ruined my memory of it. Strangely, I found better reproductions on line, and maybe it looks better on a computer screen because of the light already in here. Anyway, here are a few of my favorites that I got to see live yesterday:

Night Window (1928)

Gas (1940)

Railroad Sunset (1929)

That was my favorite of the show I think. There was also a funny little one, Untitled (Solitary figure in a theater) - which was black and white. An oil painting from his beginnings, 1902-04:

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