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Evelyn SmallAbundantly illustrated and including pages from Hopper's personal notebooks, Silent Theater presents all that the artist focused on in six decades of work…
—The Washington Post
In what he refers to as a discursive and meditative book, humanities and American studies scholar Wells explores why Edward Hopper, whom he calls a "dour creator of suspended dreams," created iconic images that are among the most popular of 20th-century American art. In chapters with such titles as "Vortices of Despair," "Cold Embers" and "Isles of Refuge," he offers close readings of thematically linked paintings, proposing interpretations that are imaginative yet well reasoned. Hopper's spare realism often approached the surreal, and he returned to certain themes throughout his career: empty urban streets at dawn; women, either clothed or nude, facing a window that bathes them in harsh light; farmhouses on the edge of woodlands that seem ready to engulf them. Wells relies heavily on the literary sources that Hopper immersed himself in, and he quotes liberally from the large body of Hopper studies. The artist's popularity remains something of a mystery. Wells suggests that Hopper's pessimism touches deep veins of shared experience in the American psyche, but he comes closest to identifying the Hopper hold on the American imagination when he describes the paintings' "ongoing interplay between a highly intellectualized ego and a volatile id." Color and b&w illus. (Sept.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Posted July 23, 2007
Recently I attended the Hopper show at the museum of fine arts in Boston. I was looking for a large coffee table size book on Hopper and I picked up this copy. The book was sealed and I could net examine it there at the store. It is laid out in a pleasing fashion but there were some mistakes. A few of the pictures were too light and few were too dark. One major noticeable point is that the painting ¿coast guard station¿ was not included. I feel it is one of Hoppers greatest works showing the contrast between light and shadows.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.