what themes were conveyed by the paintings of edward hopper
Hopper loved to paint lighthouses because he loved the architecture. He also loved to paint them because of his love for the sea.
Hopper had a fascination with gas stations. In his painting Gas (1940) he portrayed the gas station as an oasis for weary travelers. He also captures the loneliness of the attendant as he waits for another customer. He also placed the gas station in the middle of a forest. He liked to capture the clash of the natural landscape with that of manmade architecture and technology. He painted a lot of scenes like this. He got a lot of ideas and painted a lot of scenes from the images he saw in his car.
After graduating in 1899, Hopper briefly participated in a correspondence course in illustration before enrolling at the New York School of Art and Design, where he studied with teachers such as impressionist William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri of the so-called Ashcan School, a movement that stressed realism in both form and content.
Having completed his studies, in 1905 Hopper found work as an illustrator for an advertising agency. Although he found the work creatively stifling and unfulfilling, it would be the primary means by which he would support himself while continuing to create his own art. He was also able to make several trips abroad—to Paris in 1906, 1909 and 1910 as well as Spain in 1910—experiences that proved pivotal in the shaping of his personal style. Despite the rising popularity of such abstract movements as cubism and fauvism in Europe, Hopper was most taken by the works of the impressionists, particularly those of Claude Monet and Edouard Manet, whose use of light would have a lasting influence on Hopper’s art. Some works from this period include his Bridge in Paris (1906), Louvre and Boat Landing (1907) and Summer Interior (1909).
House by the Railroad (1925) Leonid Ll/Flickr
Hopper’s paintings were a source of inspiration for his contemporaries and beyond.
Hopper’s Automat captures a woman who has stepped out of the busy urban scene incumbent with necessary human interaction, taking refuge in the respite provided by a local diner. This image perfectly captures Hopper’s brilliant depictions of the isolation of the individual within the modern urban city. The main figure is depicted sitting alone at a table, staring pensively down at her coffee. The fact that she still wears one glove, having removed the other, indicates this will be a brief stop and that she’ll soon hurry on to another destination. By definition, automats (self-service restaurants where the food and drinks were dispensed through vending machines) suggest isolated experiences, the opportunity to pick up a meal without exchanging pleasantries. This subject probably had great appeal to the reticent, slightly antisocial Hopper. Of additional interest is her delineation from an adjacent table, suggesting the presence of an unidentified viewer. The idea of a voyeur’s gaze on a lonely, dejected single woman was exhibited in Impressionistic masterpieces such as Г‰douard Manet’s The Plum (c. 1877) and Edgar Degas’s L’Absinthe (1876). Hopper surpasses these images by elevating the significance of the setting to a level on par with that of the figure, emphasizing the automat’s function as a busy venue where, despite the autonomous act of retrieving food from a machine, crowds are the norm. Psychological nuance is added by focusing on a woman sunk in loneliness despite being in a place consistently flooded with people.
In 1930, this became the first painting to be acquired by the newly established Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection. Hopper was delighted later on to learn that Alfred Hitchcock used it as inspiration for the house in his 1960 film, “Psycho.”