Presentation Hopper in the Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.
Presentation Hopper in the Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.
A big happiness feeling is the one that there was showing Guillermo Solana (the Director of the Museum Thyssen Bornemisza) on having presented the exhibition of Hopper in the head office of the museum of Madrid. Finally Hopper! At once they were accompanying the director Laurent Salomé (Conservative Chief of the Rmn – Grand Palais), Didier Ottinger (Assistant manager of the MNAM / Centers Pompidou), Tomás Llorens (the Director Honorario of the Museum Thyssen-Bornemisza) and Ed Lachman (American film maker).
Since he took charge of the direction of the museum, Sun porch was dreaming of bringing Hopper to Spain. Very much earlier it had done it (and of what way) the Foundation Juan March (from October 13, 1989 to January 4, 1990) in its head office of Madrid. Later there celebrated a big joint retrospective that traveled to Boston, Washington and Chicago (between 2007 and 2008) that delayed its plans position for that it was necessary to wait to which the tsunami should happen and the calmness should return to the museums that had given works of the big American artist.
In the end the desire of Guillermo Solana would fulfill to the knowledge that Grand Palais of Paris wanted to celebrate a big retrospective. Both commissioners got in touch and came to an agreement. The Thyssen would exhibit in summer and Grand Palais would do it in autumn.
Edward Hopper (Nyack, 1882 – New York, 1967) is one of the most important and influential artists of the XXth century. He was a big portraitist of the deep America of the first half of the XXth century. There are very well-known its images of highways, railroads, motels and different motives that define of progressive form the modernization of the American culture.
A selection of 73 works assembles the exhibition and he analyzes the evolution of the American painter in two big chapters. The first one of them is started with its step along the study New York by School of Art de Robert Henri (one of eight founding artists of the School Ashcan, an artistic current which worry was to capture the scenes of the daily life of the poorest quarters of New York of realistic form). With works from 1900 to 1924 covers the period of formation of the artist where it already begins reflecting its style. Paintings, drawings, engravings and watercolors are exhibited along with works of other artists like proper Henri, Félix Valloton or Edgar Degas emulating a dialogue that in due time they maintained with Hopper. The second part of the exhibition centers on the production of its stage of ripeness, revising its artistic trajectory of a thematic way, emphasizing the matters and the motives more appellants in its work, following a chronological thread.
The sample includes loans proceeding from big museums and institutions as the MoMA and Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston, Addison Galleryof American Art of Andover wave Pennsylvania Academyof Fine Arts of Philadelphia, in addition to some private collectors, and with special mention to Whitney Museum of American Art of New York, which has transferred 14 works of the legacy of Josephine N. Hopper, wife of the painter.
The exhibition includes a curious and interesting innovation. The American film maker Ed Lachman has recreated the tomorrow Sun (1952) Lachman there reproduces in three dimensions the scene of one of the pictures more famous person of the American artist, revealing certain cinematographic resources in the works of the painter. With this staging it finishes the trip for the work of Hopper.
1 - The beginnings
Garret Henry Hopper, Edward's father, possesses a shop of textiles and garments. Its mother, Elizabeth Griffins Smith, inherits several properties what provides to the family a well-off economic situation.
After graduating in the school in 1901, Edward studies Fine arts with the intention of making the living as illustrator. On the following year capture contacted with Robert Henri, teacher who will influence powerfully the career of the painter.
In the study of Robert Henri (who had re-interpreted the impressionism ─movimiento that had just arisen in Paris in 1874 ─ and to name it «a new academicism»), Hopper will try to learn to reflect a modern realism that was separating it from the prevailing academicism up to this moment. In its first works it predominates over the dark tonality and there is a presence of the feminine nude. These beginnings will be marked by its trip to Paris in 1906 and the later influence of the contact with the Parisian art and the incipient avant-gardes. Its stay will extend for space of one year. The contact with the impressionism will forge its particular way of treating the light and the sensuality, both so showy aspects in its trajectory. The pictures of this moment reflect its around daily, like the rue Lille where he lives in Paris. In the sample of Madrid, we can see some of these initial works together with others of European artists who influenced him like Albert Marquet, Félix Valloton (Woman sewing in an interior, 1905) or Edgar Degas. According to the proper Hopper, its step along Paris did not leave good grounds to him. It heard to speak about Gertrude Stein, but nevertheless not of Picasso. Its stay in the Parisian capital did not have a big impact in him, or at least not of immediate form. Nevertheless, a trip to Ámsterdam and the contemplation of The night Round of Rembrandt, 1640-42, if that must have left trace to him, even to repeat trip to Paris in 1909.
To its return to the United States it is necessary to make the living realizing works as illustrator. This he is going to allow to specify its style and improve its skill practising in motives that have to do with the free time, the spectacle or the bureaucracy. Well it is true that the treatment that does in these works is completely different. While in the illustrations it exploits the consumer side with works full of vitality and happiness, in its linens it affects in the apathy, the drama and the solitude of its personages.
In 1910 Henri, Sloan and Arthur B. Davies includes Hopper in an exhibition of Artists Independientes that celebrates in the street West of New York. After this exhibition he will travel, for third and last time, to Paris with extension to Madrid and Toledo.
In 1913 in another exhibition with numerous painters of the group The Eight (introductores of the European avant-gardes in the United States) Hopper sells its first picture, Sailing (a small oil of a sailing ship) for 250 dollars.
On the following year another evolution will take place in its work that will come from the hand of the discovery of the engraving. It will experiment with the lights contrast by means of whiter roles and denser inks on motives that later will return to them with the linen.
In 1920 it will exhibit, of individual form, sixteen linens (eleven of which realized them during its stay in Paris). They are well received, but do not sell not the only one, with which it continues depending on its work like illustrator.
In 1923 Hopper will realize its first watercolors in the coastal city of Gloucester (Massachusetts) coinciding with Josephine Verstille Nivison whom he will marry on the following year. In this city it will paint the portrait, like main motive, the Victorian houses. It is in this moment, and on having developed this skill, when its compositions will have a dramatic sense with the game of lights and shades that the later development of its work will determine. To this moment The House of Marty Welch (1928) corresponds and other watercolors that are framed (in spite of the year) in this first stage. Thanks to them (it sold sixteen watercolors that it presented in a gallery) it obtained enough economic resources as to leave the illustration and to devote itself to the painting on time I complete.
Finally, during this first stage, in its work there is perceived a clear influence of the European painting in the use of the dark colors (brown, gray and black), especially of the Dutch painters of the baroque like Frans Hals and Rembrandt and of the impressionistic school.
2 - Ripeness stage
From 1925, the work of Hopper becomes more personal, receiving formal force and with more poetical load. He marries along with the route of the train, 1925, seems to mark the point of inflection of its work, already announcing an unmistakable style. On having referred to this work, Lloyd Goodrich wrote: "without trying to be another thing than a simple and direct portrait of an ugly house, it manages to be one of the most touching and distressing declarations of realism that we have never seen». This work has gone down in history history of cinema as the house that inspired in Alfred Hitchcock, like sinister mansion, for its movie Psychosis.
In 1933 the MoMA organizes its first retrospective.
In 1940 night Oficina does, a work inspired by its trips by the meter of New York and by the American work of Edgar Degas like the linen A cotton market in New Orleans, 1873.
The Hopper production is rather scarce, he is a slow painter who scarcely executed one or two linens to the year (nearly one hundred of works take its signature). He gathers in them daily scenes of the life and that he fills with enthusiasm to its fellow citizens with this vision of the modern life. At first sight it seems that we are contemplating pictures with a simple, very basic composition, but at once you discover an elegant and studied making that, almost always, bears a reflection before the picture.
In these calm stages the solitude the protagonist seems to be. Even in those pictures in which a group of persons appears, as they could be People to the sun, 1960. The solitude is very present if we contemplate thoroughly the scene. They do not touch between them. In this picture the chairs are staggered. Other of the outstanding aspects in the work of Hopper is this strange ambience that seems to freeze the personages. This way we can see a woman who seems to call (rather to shout) to the one that possibly is its husband and this one does not even listen to reasons in Highway of four rails, 1956. Or in, again, the People to the sun: what do a few dressed persons do facing the sun, quiet, isolated? There are histories of anonymous nations and solitary sceneries. Perhaps one of the most well-known works of the American artist is a hotel Room, 1931. In her we can find the solitude of palpable form. An alone, almost naked person, proves to be upset, disconsolate and supports in its hands what seems to be a letter. To its feet the baggage is ready: to leave or to remain? What happens to the young protagonist? Enigmatic mystery that makes a detour to this work of Hopper that possesses the Museum Thyssen.
The nude in the work of Hopper has had a significant presence from its first works. The woman, its solitude, its thoughts to that almost you can be listened (magnificent skill to transmit this worry) we observe it foreign to the rest of the world in its intimacy, they do not know that they are observed in a clear bet by the voyeurismo on having made us a participant to us of this contemplation.
Another typical element in its work is the architecture. Sometimes it paints the portrait of one I build isolated, but another times being part of an urban environment. The employment of the light is one of the main diferenciadores of the painting of Edward Hopper. Be already a natural light that enters the window or in an exterior in broad daylight or be already night and of an artificial way that illuminates the scene molding every detail in the linen. This treatment of the light is that it will lead half of its production in the latter years. They emphasize works as Tomorrow in the city, 1944 or the Sun of tomorrow, 1952.
I have stopped by the this beautiful end and sugerente I square the Sun of the morning, 1952, since the exhibition includes a curious and interesting innovation. The American film maker Ed Lachman has recreated this picture. Lachman reproduces in three dimensions the scene of one of the pictures more famous person of the American artist, revealing certain cinematographic resources in the works of the painter. With this staging it finishes the trip for the work of Hopper.
Edward Hooper died on May 15, 1967, 84 years after age, in its study of Washington Square. He was one of the most significant artists of the XXth century. With its sensibility without precedents, with its singular look of the world and with its big dramatic sense they make him a creditor of a place in the modern art history. Its wife Josephine died on the following year. In 1970 its heirs (they had no children) donate to Whitney Museum of American Art what is known as «The legacy Hopper», a big number of works and diverse documents.
Symposium Edward Hopper, the movies and the modern life.
«This image hopperiana is looked consciously. Owner of this painter the details absence; that one to go to the indispensable minimal thing. There are places of the United States where you put the camera and a Hopper picture goes out for you».
Owing to the exhibition Hopper, comisariada for Tomas Llorens and Didier Ottinger, there has been programmed an international symposium that will be celebrated in the Museum from June 19 until June 22, under the title Hopper, the movies and the modern life.
The relations of Hopper and the movies are established in two directions. On the one hand, the love of the artist is known for the seventh art and for other, of the influence of its work it has had in film makers and photography directors and lighting.
The days will be assembled in Madrid by a good number of experts who were alternating conferences and round tables with the projection of documentaries and full-lenght films in order to study in depth the interesting relation between the painter and the movies. Producers as Elizabeth Coixet and Carlos Rodríguez, photography directors as Juan Ruiz Anchía or Ed Lachman and specialists in History of cinema as Jean-Loup Bourget or Jean Foubert talk in these meetings with artists like Brian O'Doherty, historians of the Art as Erika Lee Doss, Valeriano Bozal and the proper commissioners of this exhibition, Tomas Llorens and Didier Ottinger, between many other participants.
From July 23 until September 1.
One day after the closing ceremony of the symposium will give beginning a cycle of movies which programming has been inspired likewise in the work of Hopper and in the influence that this one has exercised on the cinematography. Qualifications like Scarface (Howard Hawks, 1932), Psychosis (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960), The eclipse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962), Bad grounds (Terrence Malik, 1973), blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986), passing Clouds (Aki Kaurismäki, 1996), Walked to the perdition (Sam Mendes, 2002) or My life without me (Elizabeth Coixet, 2002), between others, they will be projected in the assembly room of the Museum, in original version and with subtitles in Spanish. In whole, more than twenty movies will be able to be seen on big screen every Friday and Saturdays, from July 23 until September 1. The entry will be free until the capacity of the room is completed.
Selection of texts of the catalog
The critical Hopper fortune climbed quickly approximately eighty years ago and since then the height of the artist in the scenery of the modern art has not diminished. Today, I dress from the perspective that the second half of the XXth century has bequeathed us, its figure appears before us as that of a big solitary and naked rock in the desert. Its solitude and its nakedness wake up not only our admiration, but also our surprise. We wonder how he can have gone so far as to acquire such a singular and exceptional profile. But the Hopper profile not always has had this aspect. In the first phase of its critical fortune, the appreciation of its work was resting on a scaffolding of ideas and beliefs that were shared extensively in the artistic world of its time. Then, the wind of the history, a wind that rarely has been so violent as in the central decades of the life of Hopper, swept this scaffolding, eroded the vegetation and left at sight the naked rock.
On the critical fortune of Edward Hopper
"(…) For Henri, the painting of Édouard Manet was condensing the virtues that he was trying to inculcate into its pupils of the New York School of Art. «Manet was not doing the awaited thing. He was a pioneer. It was following its personal inspiration. He was saying to the public his what he wanted that knew, not old and worn-out things that it already knew and was thinking that he wanted to hear again». The drawings that from The fife or of Olimpia Hopper realized for its years of formation testify the place that the French painter was occupying in Henri's teaching. Another pupil of his, Helen Appleton Read, needs the merits that Henri was granting to the Manet realism:« All the declarations of the life were for him possible artistic topics, what was inducing it to think that, as the poor were those who were closer to the realities of the life, there were also the best topics for the art. It seemed to Henri's pupils that the life was flowing with more force and plenitude in the bars of the Bowery and in the wharves than in Knickerbocker Hotel or in fashionable streets of Upper East Side». This dimension of social criticism attributed to the realism of Manet will be, for Hopper, one of the essential aportaciónes of Henri's education.
The momentous realism of Edward Hopper
(…) There are all scenes of the American life, of the everyday life in the United States, the innovation takes root in the nature of our situation, in our implication with these scenes. To place the spectator, that is to say, to place our look, Hopper makes use of very concrete plastic resources. Its meeting sense, instantaneidad, discovery is the result of a careful making in which the proximity and the scale intervene, the condition of the horizon, high or low, nonexistent in some case, the perceptive angle, the game of lights and shades, features that incorporate us into the world of the scene and, on having done it, they allow us, almost he would say that they force us, to reflect on the place in which we are: where are we when we contemplate the woman in the hotel, to the girl who sews to machine, the department of the car …: where from do we look, what is the space that us is destined? The reference to the place in which we are is a constant in the painting of Hopper, in this point, as it has indicated with brightness Cees Nooteboom, next to the Dutch painting, to Vermeer de Delft and Pieter de Hooch. (…)
The Hopper place
A small video on the exhibition in the Thyssen:
Filed file: Exhibitions
Did he like this article? Subscribe to my RSS feed and to obtain more discharges!