Contemporaneous Extension


Fortress of Solitude

After the madness of the Armory Week, I almost forgot my most recent Whitehot Magazine article is hot off the..interweb?

It took me a while to get this one together due to the unexpected challenge of looking into Hopper’s oeuvre. I was interested in his reflection of life at the point, media-wise, when newspapers were really flying off the stands and truly incorporating both illustration and photography. The intersection of documentation in his work has been a point of fascination for journalists I know, seeing as he managed to combine the taut emotions of the urban environment with its constantly accelerating pace. I have a newfound respect for his work. Here’s a small excerpt:

“New York’s economic growth and architectural exuberance in the 1920’s allowed for an expanded palate of extracurricular social opportunities. Hopper was unenthusiastic about the modular evolution of the Machine Age but acknowledged the flurry of activity. Untitled (Two Trawlers) (1923-24) depicts a pair of industrial fishing boats, slightly zoomed to fill the canvas. Hopper’s subject matter and his animated line hint at the sparks of industry and commerce. He implies movement, allowing the viewer to engage with the vessel’s construction and flow. The boats obstruct the landscape and emphasize Hopper’s distrust of industrial evolution. In conjunction with reflections upon industry, Hopper’s neutral investigation of architecture differs from his contemporaries, the Precisionists. The Precisionists embraced blossoming razor silhouettes through compositional order and  flattened color. Charles Demuth and Louis Lozowick suspend diagonals amid their cityscapes in praise of New York, the burgeoning land of lines. Pristine color and clean compositions reflect skyscraper grids, roads, subways, and progress. Despite his discontent with the tidal wave of modernity, Hopper’s observations distance the viewer from sprouting urban scenery. He pulls himself out of the blizzard, allowing an observation of the fervor. Anticipation of the future had chained the individual to capitalist gains, accelerating past the point of Hopper’s ideally tranquil livelihood. ”

Check out the FULL ARTICLE.

Edward Hopper, 'New York Interior,' ca. 1921. Oil on canvas, Overall: 24 1/4 × 29 1/4in.

Edward Hopper, 'New York Interior,' ca. 1921. Oil on canvas, Overall: 24 1/4 × 29 1/4in.

Edward Hopper, 'The Barber Shop,' 1931, oil on canvas

Edward Hopper, 'The Barber Shop,' 1931, oil on canvas

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