Today is American realist painter Edward Hopper
’s birthday and we’re sharing his best known painting, Nighthawks
from the Art Institute of Chicago: http://goo.gl/hL6Nce
Hopper stated that this work was inspired by “a restaurant on New York’s Greenwich Avenue where two streets meet,” but the image—with its carefully constructed composition and lack of narrative—has a timeless, universal quality that transcends its particular locale. Reworked and parodied countless times, this painting has become an icon of American culture.
The painting depicts a brightly lit, sparsely adorned diner peopled by four figures whose relationships to one another remain frustratingly ambiguous. It is unclear whether they bear some tense, potentially explosive relationship or whether they have been drawn into the diner from the forbidding darkness to take refuge in the silent company of strangers.
Hopper denied that he purposefully infused this or any other of his paintings with symbols of human isolation and urban emptiness, but he acknowledged that in Nighthawks “unconsciously, probably, I was painting the loneliness of a large city.” #nyc #art