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Edward Hopper Hardcover – May 11, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
He seems to have caught it all, the bridges, trains, opera, and tenements, at every hour of day and night. And very often he captured someone, often a woman, in a moment of solitude. These scenes border on voyeurism, the unguarded moments when his subjects might be dressed, or partly, or not - with no one to dress for, it hardly matters. There is nothing erotic in these nudes and semi-nudes. In fact, I quite like the unposed, unpoised relaxation of the moment. Hopper is quite capable of showing a female figure as strong and desirable, as in "Office at Night" or "Summer Evening" I sympathize more with the figures who have no one to pose for; they seem more honest somehow.
People say that many of his paintings are about loneliness, and that may be true. I think more of them are about solitude, or separation, or the invisible walls that people erect to keep themselves sane in the urban crush. In "Two on the Aisle," as in so many paintings of two or more people, the two parties seem barely aware of each other. Even within the couple, they scarcely look at each other, as if long familiarity means there's nothing new to see.
Of 246 paintings reproduced here, only 88 are in color. They are well printed, and capture Hopper's generally subdued palette. They are just enough to make me greedy, though, and to wish I could see more in the colors that Hopper gave them. There's a lot of work here, including a number of etchings, from Hopper's earlier ouvre as well. I don't mean to neglect those works, but his 40s and 50s pieces have an incredible power over me.
The commentary occupies about half the book, and gives real insight into Hopper's life. I have to admit, I skimmed the words, only dipping into them occasionally. That just gives me more reason (as if I needed reason) to come back again. And again and again.
This book really is beautiful. If more of it were in color, it would have the highest praise I know how to give.
The author, Lloyd Goodrich (1897-1987) was director of the Whitney Museum in New York and a leading author and advocate of American art for more than a half century.
The bequest of the Edward Hopper collection, by Hopper's widow Josephine, in 1968, also resulted from Mr. Goodrich's reputation as the leading scholar and friend of Edward Hopper. Today, the collection of some 2,000 works by Hopper is a major strength of the museum, and makes it the world's major center for st dy of the artist.
As the director of the Whitney Museum, from 1958 to 1968, Mr. Goodrich guided its transition from an essentially private institution to a public one, broadening its governing board beyond the family of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who founded the museum in 1930, to include many individuals and arts patrons from New York society. He also presided over construction of the museum's present quarters, at Madison Avenue and 75th Street, a controversial but generally popular building designed in distinctive minimalist style by the architect Marcel Breuer in 1966. Changed View of American Art.