Biography of Edward Hopper (1882-1967)

American painter, of the realistic tendency, born on July 22, 1882 in Nyack, New York. Very young expressed his interest and ease by drawing and serves New York correspondence school of illustration and then transferred to the Chase School, where he studied painting with the same William Merrit Chase and the realist painters Robert Henry and Keneth Hayes Miller, from 1900 to 1906. In the following years he made study trips to Europe; in Paris feel influenced by the Impressionists, and, in general, very attracted by the French culture, however is not interested in the more avant-garde movements (Cubism and Fauvism); visit London, Amsterdam, Haarlem, Berlin and Brussels. In 1907 he returned to New York where he developed his career as a painter and Illustrator. In 1909 he returned to Paris where he lives and works in five months. It participates in the Armory Show of 1913 with the table entitled Sailing.

To 1915, without to keep as a painter, he began to make engravings, a technique in which will be a real master to 1923. In 1918, it exhibits the engravings in the Chicago society of engravers. His first individual exhibition is in 1920 at the Whitney Studio Club in New York. Success and sales come in 1924 with the exhibition of watercolors at the Frank K. M. Rehm Gallery, and thereafter is dedicated exclusively to painting. Shortly afterwards he married the painter Josephine Nivinson and since then their lives run between New York and New England, with occasional trips to the West and Mexico. In 1929, is included in the exhibition Paintings by Nineteen Living Americans in the Museum of modern art in New York.

Her first retrospective was held at the Museum of modern art in New York in 1933, followed by those of 1950 and 1964 in the Whitney Museum of American art. In 1952 he represented his country at the Venice Biennale. He stopped painting in 1965 and died on May 15, 1967 in his studio in New York, leaving more than two thousand five hundred works that his wife donated to the Whitney Museum in New York.

At the end of the 1920s, Hopper was already one of the leading representatives of the American scene... .encontrando poetry in the common places represented in light of bird, Hopper painted urban or rural, landscapes, desolate, with pre-modern buildings, inhabited by solitary and isolated characters. Often looking through a window, these characters and their surroundings, evoke a crude vision of modern America as a land of dashed hopes, of alienation and nostalgia... (Hobbs). It defined his work:...My intention in painting is always, using nature as a medium, trying to project onto canvas my most intimate reaction before the subject at the time which I like; When the factors are unified by my interests and prejudices. When I select a theme and not another, I don't know exactly why, not to be because it considers them the best means to realize a synthesis of my inner experience... (Hopper).

Among his best known works are: room in Brooklyn in 1932, where represents a traditional scene with a woman sewing front a window which gives a quite contemporary sense again with their backs to the viewer and treat undifferentiated similarly to the rest of the items of the ListBox. Room in New York in 1932, puts the viewer in a position of voyeur who knows intimate aspects of the lives of the characters in the box, who presents with the features of the face erased, converted into archetypes, indicating that our immersion in his world does not authorize us to understand them as individuals. Their interest very often focused on analysis of the human being solitary and alienated as in Hotel room of 1931, where also is the subject of America in continuous transit and night owls of 1942, where fluorescent light illuminating the scene of three characters around a bar counter, creates an intimidating environmentalienated and ultimately dehumanized.

Tate Modern met, in May 2004, seventy works from all periods of the artist in a large retrospective exhibition. On the other hand, in May 2005 his canvas Chair car reached record 10.7 billion euros, the highest achieved at auction for a painting by the New York artist.

(Oil on canvas, 1931) hotel room. Collection Thyssen-Bornemisza (Spain)


American Art in the 20th century, Prestel, New York, 1993.

Hobbs, Robert, Edward Hopper, Abrams, New York, 1987.