Edward Hopper (1)

Edward Hopper (1882-1967)

Last Thursday, the 10th of January, we traveled to Paris to visit the exposition in the Grand Palais, dedicated to the great American painter Edward Hopper. For more information see http://www.grandpalais.fr/grandformat/exposition/edward-hopper/. As Hopper's art is widely dispersed this was a once-in-a-liftime opportunity to admire a large part of his works. Words fail us to describe exactly our experience. It was stunningly beautiful, original, unique, enigmatic... We will try to give you an impression of what we have seen during the weeks to come.  

Edward Hopper was born on the 22nd of July 1882 in Nyack, New York State, 25 miles north of New York City, on the left bank of the Hudson River. He likes to draw, a talent that his parents encourage. In 1899 he graduates from high school and starts a course in art with the New York School of Illustrating, traveling between Nyack and New York every day by train and ferry. He enrolls in 1900 at the NY School of Arts and studies there for 6 years. A year later, in 1901, Edward Hopper changes course at the school and joins the fine art section. (Self portrait - ca. 1904.)

In 1902 Edward Hopper meets a new teacher who will have a great influence on his work: Robert Henri. (Self portrait – 1903.)

Robert Henri (1865-1929) – The Art Student (Miss Josephine Nivison) – 1906. Josephine Verstille Nivison (1883-1968) will become Hopper’s wife in 1924.

In the autumn of 1906 Edward Hopper travels to Europe for the first time and spends most of his time in Paris. Edward Hopper - Interior Courtyard at 48 Rue de Lille, Paris (1906).

In 1906/1907 Edward Hopper makes a number of watercolours about daily Parisian life, this one called ‘Men Seated at Café Table’ (1906).

Another one called ‘Couple Drinking’ (1906-1907).

Edward Hopper travels in June and July 1907 from France to London, Amsterdam (sees Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’), Haarlem, Berlin and Brussels. The next month he returns to Paris before leaving for New York (where he’ll work as an illustrator until 1923). (Notre Dame No. 2 – 1907.)

Soir Bleu (1914) is Edward Hopper’s last painting that refers to the old world – more specifically: to French subjects. It was his most ambitious work at the time – and ignored by the critics. According to the audio guide at the Hopper Exhibition in Paris (2012/3) the painting depicts a prostitute, a pimp, a painter, a military, a clown (Hopper?) and a bourgeois couple.