Aside from being one of the most talented painters ever (I think), he has an amazing ability to chronicle life. He is like a photo-journalist of painters…great composition, images frozen in time, yet capturing the essence of a moment perfectly.
His images feature ordinary American life, like in this picture “Chop Suey” from 1929: two fashionably dressed women waiting for a check at a restaurant. You see parts of other people’s lives too, like the couple sitting behind them, but you don’t ever really feel like you understand what goes on with either of them. It reminds me of life in New York City: you always feel like you are missing on something else by being right here.
Needless to say, I was pleased to find out there is an Edward Hopper exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in DC, where I happen to be this weekend. (I hope nobody has tried to retrace my steps in the last 30 days because I have really been to all those places: London, Crete, New York, San Francisco, Adirondacks, Brussels, Prague, DC…Let’s not talk about my carbon footprint. Ouch!)
Anyway, if you have a chance, see the exhibit. It ends January 21, 2008. It is possibly the most complete collection of his work. Afterwords, you will want to hang out at a diner all day.