why did edward hopper choose to become an artist
Born in 1882, Edward Hopper trained as an illustrator and devoted much of his early career to advertising and etchings. Influenced by the Ashcan School and taking up residence in New York City, Hopper began to paint the commonplaces of urban life with still, anonymous figures, and compositions that evoke a sense of loneliness. His famous works include House by the Railroad (1925), Automat (1927) and the iconic Nighthawks (1942). Hopper died in 1967.
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.
The themes of the tensions between individuals and the conflict between tradition and progress in both rural and urban settings, are motif that Edward Hopper always returns to, as artists have always returned to their beloved themes – Van Gogh his Sun Flowers, and Monet his Water Lilies. His choices of subject matter – particularly the places he painted – seem to have been somewhat unpredictable, since they were part of his constant battle with the chronic boredom that often stifled his urge to paint. This is what kept Hopper on the move – his search for inspiration, least painfully found in the stimulation of new surroundings.
In 1933, Edward Hopper received further praises for the works he had done, and for a piece that was on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. His highly identifiable style, and mature painting styles, were some things he had become known for during this period. The gorgeous landscapes, the quiet rooms and empty rooms he designed, and the transitory effect which many of his works posed, created a sense of contemporary life and a new style, which many in the art world recognized, and many praised him for this distinct style he had created in his art forms.
Just a few years later, Hopper found himself in a far more prosperous and prominent position as an artist. His second one-person exhibition, at the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery in New York, was such a commercial success that every painting was sold; the Rehn Gallery would represent him for the rest of his career. In 1930, his painting House by the Railroad was the first work to be acquired for the collections of the newly founded Museum of Modern Art. This image embodied the characteristics of Hopper’s style: clearly outlined forms in strongly defined lighting, a cropped composition with an almost “cinematic” viewpoint, and a mood of eerie stillness. Meanwhile, Hopper’s personal life had also advanced: in 1923, he married the artist Josephine Verstille Nivison, who had been a fellow student in Robert Henri’s class. Jo, as Hopper called her, would become an indispensable element of his art. She posed for nearly all of his female figures and assisted him with arranging the props and settings of his studio sessions; she also encouraged him to work more extensively in the medium of watercolor painting, and kept meticulous records of his completed works, exhibitions, and sales.
From Paris Hopper undertook trips to Amsterdam, London, Brussels, Berlin, Madrid, and Toledo. In the Netherlands, apart from Rembrandt, he discovered Vermeer as a painter of spiritual illumination and an incomparable master of the intimate interior. Among French painters, Hopper was impressed by Manet and Edega Degas, Camille Pissarro and Sisley, but the deepest involvement came with the work of Monet, Cezanne, and Van Gogh. Fauvism and the beginnings of Cubism, on the other hand, seem to have escaped Hopper’s notice. His preoccupation with the great masters, among whom the Impressionists were already beginning to figure, apparently led Hopper to overlook the contemporary avant-garde. “Whom did I meet? Nobody,” he later admitted. “I’d heard of Gertrude Stein, but I don’t remember having heard of Pablo Picasso at all.”
Edward Hopper, (born July 22, 1882, Nyack, N.Y., U.S.—died May 15, 1967, New York City), American painter whose realistic depictions of everyday urban scenes shock the viewer into recognition of the strangeness of familiar surroundings. He strongly influenced the Pop art and New Realist painters of the 1960s and 1970s.
Hopper was initially trained as an illustrator, but, between 1901 and 1906, he studied painting under Robert Henri, a member of a group of painters called the Ashcan School. Hopper travelled to Europe three times between 1906 and 1910, but he remained untouched by the experimental work then blossoming in France and continued throughout his career to follow his own artistic course. Although he exhibited paintings in the Armory Show of 1913, he devoted most of his time to advertising art and illustrative etchings until 1924. He then began to do such watercolours as Model Reading (1925), as well as oil paintings. Like the painters of the Ashcan School, Hopper painted the commonplaces of urban life. But, unlike their loosely organized, vivacious paintings, his House by the Railroad (1925) and Room in Brooklyn (1932) show still, anonymous figures and stern geometric forms within snapshot-like compositions that create an inescapable sense of loneliness. This isolation of his subjects was heightened by Hopper’s characteristic use of light to insulate persons and objects in space, whether in the harsh morning light ( Early Sunday Morning, 1930) or the eerie light of an all-night coffee stand ( Nighthawks, 1942).
British singer and songwriter Paul Weller’s 2017 album A Kind Revolution features a track called Hopper, which pays its respects to the painter.
By 1923, Hopper’s slow climb finally produced a breakthrough. He re-encountered Josephine Nivison, an artist and former student of Robert Henri, during a summer painting trip in Gloucester, Massachusetts. They were opposites: she was short, open, gregarious, sociable, and liberal, while he was tall, secretive, shy, quiet, introspective, and conservative.  They married a year later. She remarked: “Sometimes talking to Eddie is just like dropping a stone in a well, except that it doesn’t thump when it hits bottom.”  She subordinated her career to his and shared his reclusive life style. The rest of their lives revolved around their spare walk-up apartment in the city and their summers in South Truro on Cape Cod. She managed his career and his interviews, was his primary model, and was his life companion.