Hop, skip, jump...

by - Tuesday, September 04, 2012

You've seen it... This famous print with James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe sitting in a diner. Boulevard of Broken Dreams is actually a parody of the iconic Nighthawks by artist Edward Hopper. This is how many people, just as myself, have tasted Hopper's art without realizing it. Here's the original work:
Right in our backyard, Nyack, New York, is the birthplace of Edward Hopper and boasts his childhood home as a non-profit art center, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1971. “Great art is the outward expression of an inner life of the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.” Edward Hopper was most recognized for his oil paintings, but was equally proficient as a water-colorist and print maker in etching. Both in his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life. Visitors at his home are encouraged to browse the gallery and venture outside for walking tour, map in hand, to experience the local sites evident in many of this artist's works.

Upon our recent visit to the art center, the docent mentioned a current exhibit in Madrid, Spain at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza until September 16. Bringing together the largest and most ambitious selection of works by the US artist ever to be shown in Europe, loans from major museums and institutions in New York, Boston, Andover, and Philadelphia, along with various private collections, Hopper's particular attention to geometrical design and the careful placement of human figures in proper balance with their environment is illustrated. He was a slow and methodical artist, describing how “it takes a long time for an idea to strike. Then I have to think about it for a long time. I don’t start painting until I have it all worked out in my mind. I’m all right when I get to the easel". He often made preparatory sketches to work out his carefully calculated compositions which he and his wife, Josephine, kept in a detailed ledger. Walk through this exhibit with a click to the micro site link and experience the works at displayed "firsthand". Or you can just have a peek at some of his most famous works here...
American Landscape - 1920
The Cat Boat - 1922
House by the Railroad - 1925
Hotel Room - 1931
New York Interior - 1921
Nice to know we can enjoy a real art community just a hop, skip and jump away... xoxo-Sonya

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