Hotel Lobby is an oil on canvas painting by Edward Hopper, held in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The painting depicts two women and a man in a hotel lobby. On the right, a woman with blond hair and a blue dress sits cross-legged reading a book. On the left, an older woman sits in a red dress, coat and hat. A man stands next to her, facing forward, in a suit and with an overcoat draped over his right arm. See more
On the left wall, above the woman, is a framed landscape painting.
Hotel Lobby is an iconic piece in Hopper's oeuvre, featuring his classic themes of alienation and brevity. The Hoppers travelled frequently, staying in numerous motels and hotels throughout his career. This is one of two works in his catalogue that depicts a hotel, the other being Hotel Window (1955). It is also one of two paintings he created in 1952, both of which deal with alienated couples. The older couple is thought to represent Hopper and his wife, themselves in their 60s. The hotel guests have been described as being "both on a journey and suspended in time", reflecting a stoic and dramatic feeling, reminiscent of the film noirs Hopper may have seen and the complex structure and feeling of Edgar Degas' work.
Edward Hopper is one of the major figures of the American realist movement, with paintings such as House by the Railroad (1925) and Nighthawks (1942).
Born in 1882 in New York State, Edward Hopper entered the prestigious New York School of Art after his secondary education. He moved to New York in 1908 where he was hired as an illustrator for advertising campaigns. He soon tired of the job and exhibited paintings in his spare time. See more
Around 1915, he painted scenes of American life and in 1920, he presented his first exhibition at the Whitney Studio Club, which was a great success. In 1924 he married Josephine Verstille Nivison.
His particular style, made of simple forms and rather dark colours, plays on the contrasts between light and shadow. Hopper managed to diversify his realistic approach, with staged landscapes, sometimes urban and sometimes rural. The characters he paints often inspire an impression of solitude and exclusion. Most of his oil paintings reflect a country in the throes of economic and social change. In 1945, Edward Hopper was admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He received numerous awards and honours, including the title of Doctor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1955.