Edward Hopper

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Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967) was an American Realist painter, best remembered for his eerily realistic depictions of solitude in contemporary American life.


  • Everyone goes to the 'Grands-Boulevards' (in Paris, ed.) and let himself loose… …Do not picture these in costume, they are not for the most part… …perhaps a clown with a big nose, or two girls with bare necks and short skirts… …the parade of the queens of the halls (markets) is also one of the events… …Some are pretty but look awkward in their silk dresses and crowns, particularly as the broad sun displays their defects – perhaps a neck too thin or a painted face which shows ghastley white in the sunlight.
    • a letter to his mother, 11 May, 1907; as quoted in "Edward Hopper", Gail Levin, Bonfini Press, Switzerland 1984, p. 2

  • The idea (for the painting ‘Room in New York’, 1932, ed.) had been in my mind a long time before I painted it. It was suggested by glimpses of lighted interiors seen as I walked along city streets at night, probably near the district where I live (Washington Square, New York, fh) although it’s no particular street or house, but is really a synthesis of many impressions.
    • 'Such a Life'’, in Life 102, August 1935, p. 48

  • 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. But these are things for the psychologist to untangle.
    • letter to Charles H. Sawyer, 29 October 1939; as quoted in "Edward Hopper", Gail Levin, Bonfini Press, Switzerland 1984, p. 47

  • The only quality that endures in art is a personal vision of the world. Methods are transient: personality is enduring.
    • 'statement by the Chairman of the Jury', Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. 1951, p. 7

  • 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… …The inner life of a human being is a vast and varied realm.
    • 'Statements by Four artists', Edward Hopper, in Reality 1., Spring 1953, p. 8

  • It’s (the lack of communication between the people in his paintings, ed.) probably a reflection of my own, if I may say, loneliness. I don’t know. It could be the whole human condition.
    • interview by Aline Saarinen, Sunday Show, NBC-tv, 1964, transcript, p. 3

  • To me the most important thing is the sense of going on. You know how beautiful things are when you’re traveling.
    • 'Edward Hopper in Saõ Paulo', William C. Seitz, Smithsonian Press, Washington D.C., 1969

About Edward Hopper[edit]

  • Hopper is simply a bad painter, but if he were a better one, he would probably not be such a great artist.
  • For most Europeans, Edward Hopper's art confirms a preconceived image of America… Hopper's American qualities are in the scenes he chose to paint.
  • Hopper's best pictures are representational only in that simplified, stripped-down, visually dissonant manner that suggests some distant memory, or a dream.... They are simple, yet mysterious; blunt, yet poetic; familiar, yet at the same time inscrutable.

External links[edit]

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