© Berenice Abbott, 1948-49, Portrait of Edward Hopper

Today, July 22, is Edward Hopper’s 130th birthday. The American artist produced his most revered works in the years between the two world wars, a period in which he perceived isolationalism within American society, partly caused by the great depression. To communicate this isolation with the viewer, Hopper depicted transient environments, often characterised by brief, impersonal encounters. His meticulous compositions inspired cinema and popular culture, from Alfred Hitchcock’s estranged house in ‘Psycho’ to Madonna’s set designs. (source)

About the photograph: When Abbott arrived at Hopper’s studio on Washington Square North, she was intending to use some of his paintings as a background. Instead, Hopper’s wife suggested that she pose him in front of the bare, worn walls of the studio itself. In the resulting image, Hopper is an austere, angular figure. At the left stands a potbellied stove in front of a fireplace; at the right, the spokes of Hopper’s etching press, which he also used as a makeshift hat rack, intrude into the composition. (source)

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'Nighthawks' (1942) by Edward Hopper

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