PRINT October 1968

Edward Hopper

EDWARD HOPPER’S CAREER RESEMBLES that of many American painters of this century, in the sense that its several components can be readily paralled individually in the styles of numbers of other artists: what is unique about Hopper is their fusion, and that is one reason for the particular esteem in which he is held. His subjects are representational, but his design is formalistic and abstract; they are parochial, but the procedures by which they are rendered derive from the stylish, cosmopolitan lineage of Manet and Degas; they are romantically moody, but they are grasped with an economy that is cerebral, or at any rate strict. In these respects, as in others, Hopper juggles elements that we normally oppose but of which he makes a single experience—in the last analysis, I think, the past, since he seems to be a traditionalist, and the present, since he seems to be committed to the actuality

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