Carnegie Museum of Art
Through October 26
Whether it’s his psychologically charged scenes of lone figures in diners, hotel rooms or on trains, his dramatic light-drenched landscapes of Cape Cod or his film noiresque etchings of city streets at night, Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967) endures as an iconic 20th-century American artist.
Now the public can get a rare behind-the-scenes look at the groundbreaking artist, his creative practice and a significant local collection that features a variety of his works. On view through October 26 at Carnegie Museum of Art, CMOA Collects Edward Hopper explores the artist’s initial success with the evocative medium of etching. Renowned for his compelling and complex paintings of urban modern life, Hopper was equally proficient as a printmaker and watercolorist.
Visitors to the museum will be among the first to see three Hopper etchings on view for the very first time—Night Shadows (1921), Les Deux Pigeons (1921) and Aux Fortifications (1923). The show also marks the first time that all of the museum’s Hopper works have been exhibited together. Many are works on paper—watercolors, drawings and etchings—and therefore are light sensitive, so fans of Hopper should not miss this chance to see them while they are available to the public for a limited period of time.
Organized by associate curator of fine art, Akemi May, the exhibition includes all 17 Hopper works in the museum’s collection, spanning everything from impressive etchings, drawings and watercolors, to seminal oil paintings. Also featured is the very first painting Hopper ever sold, Sailing (1911), and his breathtaking 1936 painting, Cape Cod Afternoon, produced after the artist gained wide recognition. Augmenting the exhibition is a presentation of prints by artists who influenced Hopper during his challenging formative years, including Dutch master Rembrandt, American painter John Sloan and French etcher Charles Meryon.
Viewers will discover how the etching process provided Hopper was the ideal medium for creating “bold graphic compositions and humble American subject matter”— such as rooftops, railroads, buildings and landscapes—and how these artistic beginnings led him to later create masterful and meditative oil paintings.
Want to learn more about the life, work and career of Edward Hopper? Mark your calendars now for one of the museum’s engaging public programs planned in conjunction with the exhibition, including a “Coffee with the Curator” event for members on August 6, a four-session art history class running October 7–28 and a not-to-miss “Hops and Hopper” beer tasting and film screening on October 10.