Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Whitney Museum presents:

Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time

October 28, 2010–April 10, 2011 
   Being a big fan of Edward Hopper's work I was pleased to see the show at The Whitney Musuem. This show includes approximately 80 works in a range of media by Hopper and artists from his time period. His contemporaries include the Ashcan School painters with whom he came of age as an artist in the century’s first decades, the 1920’s Precisionist artists, whose explorations of abstract architectural geometries mirrored those of Hopper, and a younger generation of American Scene painters, who worked alongside Hopper in New York during the 1930s.such as John Sloan, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Charles Demuth, Guy Pène du Bois, Charles Sheeler, Charles Burchfield, Ben Shahn, Reginald Marsh.

Soir Bleu, 1914. Oil on canvas
   Unfortunatley some may look at Hopper's work in a superficial way; seeing it as lacking technical skill. If you look at his early work and his background as an illustrator it is apparent that he was quite a capable skilled artist. He seemed to have put aside some that knowledge and focused his attention on depicting dramatic mood and a sense of timeless silence. These themes dominate his work through out his life. When once asked about his intention of his work, he simply said that wanted to paint light on the side of a house. He does that and so much more, finding his poetic voice and style.
The Barber Shop , 1931.,oil on canvas
Early Sunday Morning, 1930 , oil on canvas
   Although this show lacks in the number of work, I found the association with the other art in the exhibit was interesting. The photographs of Alfred Stieglitz and Paul Strand give that same haunting urban desolation which Hopper continues with his work.
   Also to note there are a series of watercolor that are stunning and are done plein air.

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