Early Sunday Morning | Edward Hopper | 1930 | Oil on canvas
This piece is a little more personal for me than my past selections. I'm such a huge fan of Edward Hopper, who is considered one of the last great American realists. If Hopper's paintings were books, he would have won the Pulitzer many times over. I was lucky enough to go with my friend E. (not the E. of this past week but another E.--I know so many!) to see a massive exhibition of Hopper's art at the National Gallery of Art the day it closed in January, 2008. Awestruck is a good way to describe my emotions walking through the gallery that day. I was in a place in my life where I had finally found the end of a very dark tunnel, and Hopper's empty portraits of life enveloped me in a way that most art has not.
After his death in 1967 post-realism and abstract art imploded and the whole art world changed, perhaps for the better, perhaps for the worse--I don't claim to know art well enough to say either way. But I was and still am desperately attracted to Hopper's still, tense, and potentially energetic paintings of landscapes, places and the alone and lonely people of America; I well noted at the exhibition that many of the people alone in Hopper's painting aren't necessarily lonely, though often enough the paintings portraying multiple people interacting betrayed them their loneliness. The viewer can almost believe that if he or she blinks, a car will roll into view or a man will enter a restaurant. That's how real and fleeting the images Hopper captured are.
So send me your submissions for this week's SIA! I'd like them by Monday evening my time (EST) so the post can go up that night when I get home from work. I'm looking forward to seeing what you all do!