Sunday, December 1, 2013

Back Home with Edward Hopper



Edward Hopper, New York Interior, oil on canvas, circa 1921, Whitney Museum of American Art (I have writtten about some of Hopper's compositional ideas in this painting previously here).

Every Thanksgiving we travel north to Rockland County, NY to see some of our favorite relatives.  While there we all went back to pay a visit to my old friend Edward Hopper's home in Nyack, NY. Our party enjoyed a tour led by Lee and George Mamunes that reminded me of a little Hopper story I had forgotten.

One of my favorites of Hopper's oils is the seamstress glimpsed through an open window seen above. Her pose is just perfect, nailing the look and feel of the woman lost in her task. So much of the emotional richness of Hopper's interiors flows from how he connected his feelings to the spaces that surround this figures. He seems to know their surroundings intimately. Often he did.

Here's a photo of the fireplace mantle in one of the front rooms of the Hopper House Art Center.





The resemblance to the fireplace in  New York Interior is striking. Hopper reached back into his experience and drew forth some of the memories that resonnated deeply for him. You can just feel his affection for the elaborate woodwork and tile front on this piece of his childhood. He fits it seamlessly into his seamstress painting.

You can't go home again. But for all of us, including Hopper, a lot of the past remains tellingly present within us. We are fortunate that he knew how to put his favorite memories to such good use.




If you look over my shoulder you can see one of the fruits of the Edward Hopper House Art Center's labors in the newly restored woodwork on the railing on Hopper's front porch. I was delighted to see the progress they've made on it.

In other news, several of the galleries around the country that represent my work have new paintings in their holiday shows:

Annual Christmas Exhibition at Meredith Long & Company in Houston, TX.




A Passion for Painting at Nichols Gallery Annex in Barboursville, Virginia




(Largely) Small Works at Alpers Fine Art in Andover, Massachusetts




The Magic of Christmas at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut







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