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Artists Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper Photo

Edward Hopper

American Painter

Movement: Realism

Born: July 22, 1882 - Nyack, NY

Died: May 15, 1967 - New York City

Edward Hopper Timeline

Quotes

"If you could say it in words there would be no reason to paint."
Edward Hopper
"The only real influence I've ever had was myself."
Edward Hopper
"There is a sort of elation about sunlight on the upper part of a house."
Edward Hopper

"Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist."

Synopsis

No one captured the isolation of the individual within the modern city like Edward Hopper. His imagery of figures within urban settings go well beyond their role as modern cityscapes, exposing the underbelly of the human experience. So while his oeuvre officially falls within the rubric of Realism, it offers a far more evocative look at life between the World Wars. Indeed, by providing a minimum of action, stripping away almost any sign of life or mobility, and adding dramatic means of representation with striking lighting schemes in claustrophobic spaces, Hopper suggests something of the psychological inner life of his subjects, leading the way towards Abstract Expressionism. He injected significance, and the weight of the individual's existential being in the modern metropolis or in country life, into what otherwise might appear to be straight-forward images of everyday life.

Key Ideas

Hopper's imagery is consistently restrained, presenting part of a story or one suggestive aspect. By leaving many clues but no specific answers, he forces the viewer to complete the narrative. This element of his art would have major repercussions for the development of postmodernism wherein the viewer has a major role in the understanding of the artwork.
Hopper's individuals, usually depicted isolated and disconnected from their environments either literally by glass windows or metaphorically through formal means, are manifestations of the artist's focus on the solitude of modern life. The starkness of detail and unmodulated revelatory light in many works builds a tension, drawing the viewer's attention away from the given subject, and suggesting much about his emotional experience. In this way, the artist's work acts as a bridge between the interest in everyday life exhibited by the contemporary Ashcan School and the exploration of mood by later existential artists.
Many of the houses depicted by Hopper, animated through artistic means, set apart from their environs, lit with a blanching light which dramatically highlights and casts into shadow, viewed from evocative angles, have provided inspiration to the film making industry.

Biography

Edward Hopper Photo

Childhood

Edward Hopper was born into a comfortable, middle-class family in Nyack, New York, in 1882. His parents introduced Edward, and his older sister Marion, to the arts early in life; they attended the theatre, concerts and other cultural events, and visited museums. His father owned a dry goods store where Hopper sometimes worked as a teen. Hopper described him as "an incipient intellectual... less at home with his books of accounts than with Montaigne's essays." Both his parents were supportive of his artistic inclinations.

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Edward Hopper Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Edward Hopper
Interactive chart with Edward Hopper's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Edgar DegasEdgar Degas
Édouard ManetÉdouard Manet
Rembrandt van RijnRembrandt van Rijn

Personal Contacts

Robert HenriRobert Henri
George BellowsGeorge Bellows

Movements

ImpressionismImpressionism
RealismRealism

Influences on Artist
Edward Hopper
Edward Hopper
Years Worked: 1905 - 1967
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Eric FischlEric Fischl
Richard DiebenkornRichard Diebenkorn

Personal Contacts

Brian O'DohertyBrian O'Doherty
Lloyd GoodrichLloyd Goodrich

Movements

RealismRealism
Pop ArtPop Art

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Carole Perry

Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Caroline Igra

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Carole Perry
Edited and revised, with Synopsis and Key Ideas added by Caroline Igra
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