Hopper Drawing at the Whitney

nighthawks studyToday I went up to the Whitney Musuem to see Hopper Drawing, the first major museum exhibition to focus on the drawings and creative process of Edward Hopper. The Whotney already boasts an impressive collection of Hopper’s paintings, but this new exhibition showcases hundreds of drawings that were bequeathed to the museum by Hopper’s widow Josephine. These never-before-seen sketches reveal the extensive and meticulous research that went into the preparation of his most celebrated works. As arguably American painting’s foremost observer of city life, Hopper spent months scouting theaters, storefronts, restaurants and automats, of which he produced dozens of studies before eventually putting paint to canvas. Presented alongside the finished masterpieces themselves, these drawings highlight not only Hopper’s abilities as a draftsman, but also the “continually evolving relationship between observation and invention in the artist’s work.” Indeed, Hopper continues to defy those who scour Greenwich Village in search of the real-life settings for famous paintings such as “Early Sunday Morning” (1930) or “Nighthawks” (1942). In truth, more often than not Hopper’s urban environments were a composite of various locations, into which he tossed a healthy shot of his own imagination.

Hopper Drawing is on at the Whitney until October 6. If you call yourself a New Yorker you won’t want to miss this stunning and supremely moving exhibition. For more information click here.

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