Thursday, April 11, 2013

Inside Edward Hopper's World this August in Stonington, Maine



Philip Koch, Rooms by the Sea, oil on panel
14 x 21", 2013

My first couple of years studying art were pretty confusing. Mostly I stumbled through a long series of colorful abstractions but felt  they weren't leading me anywhere I wanted to go.

I was lost. Then Edward Hopper tapped me on the shoulder and said "Come this way."

As regular readers of this blog know, it was Hopper who was the major influence on my career as an artist. I never met the man but seeing the brilliance in the sunlight his paintings evoked was enough for me. I dropped my abstractions and set off working in a realist direction over four decades ago. Never looked back.

Isalos Fine Art in Stonington, Maine has just set the dates for their summer show of my work for August 13 through September 2, 2013. It will include paintings I've done of the interior spaces where the famous American realist Edward Hopper spent much of his life.

They will be exhibiting a series of painting of Edward Hopper's S. Truro, MA studio I've made during my 14 residencies there as well as some interiors painted in Hopper's boyhood home in Nyack, NY (now the Edward Hopper House Art Center). Ironically it was Victoria Hertz, who is the President of the Board of Trustees at the Hopper House Art Center, who  suggested to us we hold a Hopper- themed show in conjunction with the Hopper inspired video and dance performances by the well respected Bridgman/Packer Dance at the Stonington Opera House Aug. 13 - 18.

Edward Hopper House Art Center was kind enough last year to invite me to come to the House two separate times to paint both in Hopper's bedroom and in his big parlor.  

Here's the front of the Hopper House.



I have been incredibly fortunate to have been granted unprecedented access to the studio Hopper built and lived in on Cape Cod in S. Truro, MA. It has become a fixture in my artist's imagination. Here's me walking back up from the beach to the famous studio last October.



The Isalos Fine Art exhibit will feature several paintings of a corner of his Truro studio's painting room Hopper made famous in his Rooms by the Sea oil. Here I am last month in the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven with that painting. It's become one of my oldest and best friends.



Here is my oil from 2004, Edward Hopper's Rooms by the Sea, 18 x 24" that will be in the Stonington show. It is a painting I did that shows more truthfully the actual architecture that inspired Hopper's more fanciful invention above. 




A new oil painted in October on location,  Hopper Studio Bedroom and Bench,  9 x 12" featuring some of Hopper's simple studio furniture and furnishings.




















There will be an opening reception for the Isalos Fine Art exhibit Friday, August 16, 5-7 p.m. All welcome. Bridgman/Packer Dance will be performing their Hopper themed video and dance piece Voyeur at the Stonington Opera House Aug. 13-18.

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