Saturday, July 22, 2017

Edward Hopper

Writer's Almanac
It's the birthday of the man who said: "All I ever wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house." That's painter Edward Hopper, born in Nyack, New York (1882). By the time he was 12, he was already six feet tall. He was skinny, gangly, made fun of by his classmates, painfully shy, and spent much of his time alone drawing.

After he finished art school, he took a trip to Paris and spent almost all of his time there alone, reading or painting. In Paris, he realized that he had fallen in love with light. He said the light in Paris was unlike anything he'd ever seen before. He tried to re-create it in his paintings.

He came back to New York and was employed as an illustrator at an ad agency, which he hated. In his spare time, he drove around and painted train stations and gas stations and corner saloons.

Hopper had only sold one painting by the time he was 40 years old, but his first major exhibition — in 1933 at the Museum of Modern Art — made his reputation. His pieces in that show had titles like Houses by the Railroad, Manhattan Bridge Loop, Room in Brooklyn, Roofs of Washington Square, Cold Storage Plant, Lonely House, and Girl on Bridge.

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