The exhibition Edward Hopper
marks the first time in more than 25 years (in the case of Boston and Washington, more than 50) that a comprehensive exhibition of this great artist’s work has been seen in American museums outside New York. This comprehensive survey will focus on the period of the artist’s great achievements from about 1925 to mid-century when he produced such iconic paintings as Automat
(1927), Drug Store
(1927), Early Sunday Morn
ing (1930), New York Movie
(1939), and Nighthawks
Edward Hopper (1882 - 1967) "New York Movie, 1939" oil on canvas The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Given anonymously, 1941 Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource,NY
is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where it debuts May 6 through August 19, 2007; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, where it will be on view September 16, 2007 through January 21, 2008; and The Art Institute of Chicago, where it will be seen February 16 through May 11, 2008.
The National Gallery is pleased to present this new exploration of a very fertile period in Edward Hopper’s career when he produced some of the outstanding masterpieces of modern American art
, said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art.
Edward Hopper (1882 - 1967) New York Corner (Corner Saloon), 1913 oil on canvas Private Collection; Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, and Martha Parrish & James Reinish, Inc., New York
The classic works of Edward Hopper (1882-1967) capture the realities of urban and rural American life with a poignancy and beauty that have placed them among the most enduring and popular images of the 20th century. This exhibition of about 50 oil paintings, 25 watercolors, and 12 prints, arranged chronologically and thematically, reveals Hopper as a creator of compelling images who produced remarkably subtle and painterly effects in both oil and watercolor. It will also examine how his images were seen by his contemporaries in the middle decades of the century.
From the late 1920s, Hopper was recognized as one of the most profound American artists, praised for his mastery at painting light, for his direct, eloquent realism, and for his unique sensitivity to modern American life. He excelled as a painter in oils, as a watercolorist, and as a printmaker, and this exhibition presents his greatest work in all three media. The assembled art includes some of Hopper’s best-loved images as well as seldom seen works of extraordinary quality and power.
Edward Hopper (1882 - 1967) "Hotel Room, 1931" oil on canvas Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid © Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
A group of paintings and prints from the late 1910s and early 1920s introduces his signature subjects, and reveals his beginnings as an artist influenced by both the American Ashcan school and a fin-de-siècle sensibility to which he was exposed during student years in Paris. The core of the exhibition is dedicated to the mature, highly original images for which he is justly famous: majestic Maine lighthouses; Manhattan apartments, restaurants, and theaters; and the old-fashioned houses of Gloucester and Cape Cod. Hopper’s career spanned six decades, and in his epic late paintings, created during the ascendancy of abstract expressionism, he remained a staunch realist, his style marked by increasing simplicity and austerity.
Edward Hopper (1882 - 1967) "Automat" 1927 oil on canvas
Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Purchased with funds from the Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc. Photograph by Michael Tropea, Chicago
: A documentary film about Hopper’s career produced by the National Gallery of Art will accompany the exhibition at all three venues and will be aired on PBS-TV stations nationwide. The production includes present-day views of Hopper’s subjects and interviews with Carol Troyen, exhibition curator; friends of Hopper’s; and Red Grooms and Eric Fischl, artists influenced by Hopper. The film is made possible by the HRH Foundation.