Saturday, October 5, 2013

Last Call: Hopper's Drawings and Paintings at the Whitney through October 6

Edward Hopper (1882–1967), Study for Nighthawks, 1941 or 1942. 
Fabricated chalk and charcoal on paper; 11 1/8 × 15 in. (28.3 × 38.1 cm). 
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York;
 Purchase and gift of Josephine N. Hopper by exchange  2011.65

Josephine Nivison Hopper (1883-1968) bequeathed over 2,500 drawings by her husband Edward Hopper (1882-1967) to the Whitney Museum.  The exhibition Hopper Drawings offers the opportunity to study dozens of the drawings from this gift in the same room as the masterpieces which have made Edward Hopper one of the most beloved artists in American art history.  (And judging from the enormous turnout in Paris, we might say mondiale - worldwide.)  If you have not visited the Whitney Museum's exceptional show, please make a point to stuff it into you schedule by the end of the final day, Sunday, October 6th.  This Hopper show is one of the best (among the greats) ever mounted. 

Edward Hopper (1882–1967), Nighthawks, 1942. 
Oil on canvas, 33 1/8 × 60 in. (84.1 × 152.4 cm).
 The Art Institute of Chicago; Friends of American Art Collection 1942.51. 
Photography © The Art Institute of Chicago

One of the glorious aspects of the New York show is the opportunity to see Nighthawks sketches right next to the painting.  What is the women in the red dress holding?  In the sketch, it seems to be a sandwich.  We also see that in one drawing of 1941 or 1943 the couple seems pretty chummy - a far cry from the painting's characterization of the couple, and all the figures in this all-night diner.  Most viewers consider Nighthawks a pictorial comment on urban alienation.

In the same gallery, another well-known Hopper painting, Early Morning Sunday, sits on an easel, which Hopper used in his Washington Square studio.

Hopper Drawing Edward Hopper’s Early Sunday Morning (1930),
 on his easel at the Whitney Museum of American Art. More Photos »

For more information about Hopper and the exhibition, please visit the Whitney Museum's exhibition page and read Robin Cembalest's article about Nighthawks posted in July 2013 on the Art News website.

(The New York Arts Exchange will tour Julie Margaret Cameron photographs at the Metropolitan Museum on Wednesday, October 9.  Come join us:

Best wishes for the fall,
Beth New York

aka Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
New York Arts Exchange

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