Saturday, June 15, 2013

Hopper Drawing At The Whitney Museum

I just saw this magnificent exhibition at the Whitney today and I can't tell you how much I loved it, well actually I can tell you how much I loved it, I loved it a lot. Hopper has been one of my favorite artists for as long as I can recall and in this beautifully installed exhibition we get to see via a couple of hundred of his drawings and sketches just how he thought, and worked. Many of the drawings easily stand on their own as drawings, finished intimate and superb and there are also loose working sketches of details and ideas. I was surprised by how many of the drawings looked like storyboards for movies, especially Noir movies but then again many of his New York paintings are indeed“noirish in mood and light. The show also has a lot of his very early work including student work and pieces that he did in Paris when he was a young man. I especially love the wonderful large Soir Bleu from 1914 with smart Parisians sitting at a long table with a woman hovering over them and Japanese lanterns hanging over their heads and what is that scary clown doing there? Some of my favorite paintings of his are also in the show including "Early Sunday Morning" that always makes me feel melancholy (it must be the light) and is exhibited without a frame on his original easel so startling that at first I thought it was a reproduction, "New York Movie" finally I now know what movie theatre in New York City Hopper based the work on, its the Palace also the great "Night Hawks" which is probably the most parodied painting second only to "American Gothic" and "Gas" with his amazing dusk light falling on the trees and the lone figure at the gas pump. This is a breathtaking show that almost moved me to tears several times. One of the best exhibitions of the year.


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