Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967) is widely acknowledged as the most important realist painter of twentieth-century America. But his vision of reality was a selective one, reflecting his own temperament in the empty cityscapes, landscapes, and isolated figures he chose to paint. His work demonstrates that realism is not merely a literal or photographic copying of what we see, but an interpretive rendering.
Always reluctant to discuss himself and his art, Hopper simply summed up his art by stating ‘The whole answer is there on the canvas’. Hopper was someone drawn to an emblematic, anti-narrative symbolism, who ‘painted short isolated moments of configuration, saturated with suggestion’. His silent spaces and uneasy encounters ‘touch us where we are most vulnerable’.