“Edward Hopper,” National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Through Jan. 21, 2008. Schedule: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, May 6–August 19, 2007; National Gallery of Art, Washington, September 16, 2007–January 21, 2008; The Art Institute of Chicago, February 16–May 11, 2008
Paul Richard reports in the Washington Post: “A Freudian might note that Hopper’s pictures bristle with strong, upstanding verticals — chimneys and masts, lighthouses and barber poles. Hopper won’t paint limpness. He isn’t into S-curves. Hopper, notes Franklin Kelly, the National Gallery’s representative on the three-museum team that put the show together, paints ‘anti-sissy’ art. He rejects the genteel. No ladies twirling parasols, or maids arranging flowers, decorate his pictures….Unlike popular George Bellows, his virtuoso schoolmate, or Andy Warhol later, he never hymned the super-rich. Nor was he charmed by chic. Critics of the day used to slam the tastelessness of the complicated, tall, out-of-fashion Victorian houses that he painted in the ’20s (‘atrocious,’ ‘blatantly hideous’), but Hopper sensed the dignity of those scorned survivors, and he lets us see it, too. Read more.
Read an earlier TCOP post which includes excerpts from Geoff Edgers’ essay about the Cape Ann community that Hopper painted, and Peter Schjeldahl’s review of the retrospective when it was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.