Smith writes: "By chance 'Legends' coincides with the Museum of Modern Art’s sweeping survey 'Inventing Abstraction: 1910-1925,' which traces the development of a largely geometric form of abstraction, mostly by European and Russian artists who often worked in closely related styles. In comparison the Whitney’s display might almost have been subtitled 'Inventing American Modernism, One Sensibility at a Time.' The artists here impress you as talented loners working toward diverse and much messier notions of modernity. To be sure, they take tips from European styles, but they also free themselves from such influences with highly personal responses to the sights and subjects specific to this country — the rawness of its landscapes, the tawdriness of its cities, as well as its folk art, social mores and racism. Sometimes they are working toward abstraction, sometimes not."
Painter Robert Anderson considers Edward Hopper's Sun on Prospect Street (Gloucester, Mass), 1934, in the collection of the Cincinnati Museum of Art.
Anderson writes that "The piece is very familiar yet foreign at the same time... the painting pulls you in and makes you stay with it. In its bold use of economy, it opens up the possibility for a greater narrative. Hopper removed all of the superfluous elements of the scene, and shared just enough with the viewer to create a magnificent sense of a common shared experience."
Leslie Anderson blogs about Edward Hopper's inclusion in the 1952 Venice Biennale. She notes that the positive reception of Hopper's work in Europe may be linked to an existing contemplative tradition in European painting beginning with Jan Vermeer and including Hopper's near contemporary, Danish painter Vilhelm Hammershøi.
Anderson quotes Stuart Preston of The New York Times who noted, in his review of the 1952 Biennale, that of the Americans represented "Hopper made the deepest impression. Foreigners recognized, and rightly, something authentically American in the pathos of his landscapes, a germ of loneliness..."
Ed Beem reviews the exhibition Edward Hopper's Maine at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art on view through October 16, 2011.
Beem writes that the stars of the exhibition (which was designed by painter Alex Katz) are "30 small oils Hopper did on Monhegan Island over the summers of 1916-19. Littoral jewels, the little Monhegan landscapes, all about a foot in any dimension, are refreshing in their modesty. They are paintings painted for people, not institutions, art meant to be lived with not stored and studied to death."
Considering the work of Edward Hopper and Fairfield Porter, Philip Koch looks at "...the difference between two of the main ways of seeing in painting- one can either move one's eye across the surface or plunge into the painting's depth."
Painter Philip Koch begins: "I always come back to Edward Hopper." Koch describes why Hopper's work spoke to him initially and remains a touchstone - the "depth of [Hopper's] emotions came through... clearly in his slowly built up and methodically constructed compositions."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.