Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Timeup at the Whitneytraces the development of realism in American art between 1900 and 1940, with a focus on developments in urban and rural life that occurred during this period and the museum’s extensive holdings of Hopper. I had been quite looking forward to it, and left with a rather threadbare, uninspired impression. Perhaps because of the wider nature of the exhibition, I didn’t really get the feel and understanding of Hopper’s work that I would have liked (except perhaps that it stood head and shoulders over the contemporaries of his that were on view). I liked Hopper, and perhaps understood more about him, a bit better after this video:
New York Window
Scenes like the one above, simple and relatable, showed the artist at his best. The one above left me with the feeling I often get in the old tenements buildings of how little has changed for people living in them. The isolation of the figures in his cityscapes and the lamp lit night scenes are so ascetically bare and realistic that they remove themselves from sentimentality.