two on the aisle edward hopper
Born and raised in New York City, this was where he spent most of his adult life as well. There are various aspects of the American life that Hopper depicts in his realism paintings. The theatre was no exception.
Is the woman with the green jacket just adjusting it over the seat or did she drop something? Is this Hopper and his wife or is he already sitting further up the aisle and watching this happen? These observations can be answered by viewers themselves or left unanswered and part of the beautiful mystery of this painting.
Levin, Gail, “Edward Hopper: The Influence of the Theater and Film,” Arts, vol. 55, no. 2, Oct. 1980, pp. 123-124, repr. fig. 10.
Levin, Gail, Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonné, New York, 1995, vol. I, p. 83, vol. III, p. 172, repr. (col.).
The usherette is a twentieth-century counterpart to the bored waitress in “A Bar at the Folies-Bergeres” of Edouard Manet. Similar to Manet, Hopper was genius in making the illusory world of the theater so enticing, so glamorous, and so completely empty.
Edward Hopper, Two on the Aisle, 1927, Toledo Museum of Art
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