Edward Hopper was an American realist painter during the 20th century. He began his art studies at an early age as he showed some real talent in grade school. His parents were very supportive in his self-discovery with art and kept a continuous supply of art supplies around the house. He attended the New York School of Art and Design and after travelling around Europe for a while, returned to New York City where he struggled to make ends meet as an artist. After many years of fluctuation in sales and experimentation with various styles, Hopper finally had his breakthrough with a piece called The Mansard Roof (Fig. 1), which was bought by the Brooklyn Museum as part of their permanent collection. This beautiful watercolour started to attract critics attention to his work in a positive way and kick-started his career in the art world.
Although his watercolour paintings are what initially made his famous, Hopper is best known for his oil paintings. In particular, Nighthawks (Fig. 2) is one of the most recognizable pieces in America. For me, this piece has always seemed a bit eerie and I remember a past instructor saying that it could be a response to the effects of The Great Depression in America. All of his oil paintings seem very simple yet complex at the same time. I think it has to do something with how he handles light and perspective, which he does masterfully.
Figure 1: The Mansard Roof, 1923
Figure 2: Nighthawks, 1942
Second Story Sunlight, 1960
Lighthouse Hill, 1927
Souter, Gerry. Edward Hopper : Light and Dark. New York : Parkstone International, , 2012. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.capilanou.ca/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=cat02755a&AN=cul.b1100452&site=eds-live&scope=site.