In Edward Hopper's seductively voyeuristic "New York Interior", a young girl framed in a flat window - glimpsed, perhaps, from a passing elevated train - sits on her bed with her back to the viewer, sewing a length of cloudy cloth spread across her lap. She is only partially dressed. She may be listening to music or talking to someone through an open door. In a second she can get up to answer the phone. See more
She can do a thousand things. But in the way Hopper painted her, she becomes an isolated study - like most of his paintings.
This unconventional view suggests the impersonal - yet strangely intimate - quality of modern urban life, seen voyeuristically through a window. The woman's clothing and gestures recall the iconic ballet dancers painted by the French impressionist Edgar Degas, whom Hopper named as the artist whose work he most admired.
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.