Masterpiece Stories

Edward Hopper, New York Interior

Zuzanna Stańska 7 January 2018 min Read

Edward Hopper arrived for the first time to New York around the turn of the 20th century. He then studied with Robert Henri and embraced the Ashcan School’s entanglement with its moment. “Art cannot be separated from life,” Henri proclaimed. “We value art not because of the skilled product but because of its revelation of a life’s experience.”

In the appealingly voyeuristic “New York Interior” of 1921, a girl framed in an apartment window – glimpsed, perhaps from a passing elevated train – sits on her bed with her back to the viewer, sewing a length of cloudy fabric spread out in her lap. She is only partly dressed. She may be listening to music or talking to someone through an open door. In a second, she may jump up to answer the telephone. She can do thousand things. But the way Hopper painted her, she becomes a study in isolation – like most of his paintings.

Edward Hopper New York Interior Edward Hopper, New York Interior, c. 1921, Whitney Museum of American Art, © Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, licensed by the Whitney Museum of American Art
Edward Hopper, New York Interior, c. 1921, Whitney Museum of American Art, © Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, licensed by the Whitney Museum of American Art

This unconventional view suggests the impersonal—and yet strangely intimate—quality of modern urban life, as glimpsed voyeuristically through a window. The woman’s clothing and gesture are reminiscent of the iconic ballet dancers painted by French Impressionist Edgar Degas, whom Hopper singled out as the artist whose work he most admired.

You might also like to read the article about Edward Hopper “Tables for Ladies”.

Find out more:

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”379134613X” locale=”US” src=”https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/517V6FUhdOL.jpg” tag=”dailyartdaily-20″ width=”342″]

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”500″ identifier=”0393315770″ locale=”US” src=”https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/516pOHsqlUL.jpg” tag=”dailyartdaily-20″ width=”393″]

Recommended

Henriëtte Ronner-Knip, Cat at Play, ca 1860-78, oil on wood panel, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Cat at Play by Henriëtte Ronner-Knip

Cat at Play is a masterpiece by Henriëtte Ronner-Knip who deserves to have her legacy revised and her fame revived. Art does not need to be radical...

James W Singer 12 September 2022

Marietta Robusti, Self Portrait with Madrigal Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Self-Portrait with Madrigal by Marietta Robusti

The Venetian Renaissance painter Marietta Robusti has recently caused a stir in the art history world. Although only a few works are attributed to...

Anna Ingram 15 September 2022

Standing Bodhisattva, 3rd century, gray schist stone, Gandhara, Pakistan, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Standing Bodhisattva

Standing Bodhisattva is a great example of Gandharan art and of its blended multicultural origins: East meets...

James W Singer 29 August 2022

Warrior and Attendants, 16th-17th century, brass, Royal Palace, Benin City, Nigeria, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, USA. Detail. Masterpiece Stories

Masterpiece Story: Warrior and Attendants

Warrior and Attendants is a masterpiece of African art. It encapsulates the beauty of Africa and its people. Black is beautiful. Black is...

James W Singer 15 August 2022