Artists began to cast their gaze on the change that was transforming America from a quiet, isolationist country into a player on the world’s international stage. One of those chroniclers of this sweeping change in America was the painter and printmaker Edward Hopper. Hopper strove to capture the most exact transcription of the natural appearance of America during this formidable change. Some critics dismissed his vision of the evolving American scene as boring and banal. Others recognized that Hopper did indeed have his hands and eyes on the American pulse. Lloyd Goodrich, one of Hopper’s biographers, stated in 1950: “Banality was inherent in much of his subject matter, but the strength of his feeling for familiar reality transformed banality into authentic poetry.” What are your thoughts on Hopper’s interpretation of the American scene, do you find his work banal, and what did this artist add to the American culture between the wars and immediately after WWII?
Edward Hopper, Self Portrait
Edward Hopper, Early Sunday Morning, 1930
Edward Hopper, The Nighthawks, 1942