How Edward Hopper tells a melancholy side of America

Edward Hopper has an impressive ability to draw us into everyday scenes, seemingly harmless, which tell a melancholic face of America. The painter, one of the best known American artists. has beautifully told the United States, especially New York, and more generally the loneliness of big cities.

His most famous painting is undoubtedly Nighthawks. Three customers and a waiter are in a restaurant at night. There is a very large bay window. They are sitting at the counter, each lost in thought, without interactions. Outside the street is empty. The composition would be inspired by a restaurant that Hopper had seen on Greenwich. A painting completed in late January 1942, a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States entered the war.

Other work New York Office, where behind a large bay window, a secretary holds a letter in her hand, lost in thought. She looks towards a telephone placed in front of her, which when it rings will perhaps wake her from her torpor. This is perhaps what appeals so much to Hopper’s works: this possibility of imagining, of telling stories.

>> A letter from America, a series of exceptional episodes to be found every Tuesday. A sound postcard to help us better understand this America of today, both so familiar and sometimes totally disconcerting. a podcast RTL Originals.

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