Edward Hopper (1882-1967)

American painter Edward Hopper is best known for his eerie paintings depicting solitude in everyday life, most famously in Nighthawks, created in 1942.

Hopper was born in Nyack, New York and studied commercial art and painting in New York City. Robert Henri, one of Hopper s teachers, told him to create art that would make a stir in the world and motivated Hopper to depict realistic scenes of urban life.

House by the Railroad, a 1925 Hopper painting, conveys his artistic maturity and the first of Hopper s series of paintings depicting stark, urban scenes with sharp lines and unusual lighting all bringing to the forefront the loneliness of the subjects. His subject matter was often ordinary American scenes such as a gas station, an empty street or a motel.

Edward Hopper s painting Nighthawks (1942) is his most recognizable work. The painting depicts customers at the counter of an all-night diner. The diner s harsh light contrasted with the dark, empty street adds to the isolated feeling of the individual patrons.

Hopper s influence on the art world and popular culture is undeniable, as his paintings have influenced many other artists and inspired films, as well as parodied.

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