One of the foremost chroniclers of pre–World War II American urbanism, painter and printmaker Edward Hopper depicted hauntingly isolated figures in diners, railroad cars, and rented rooms at the beginning of the twentieth century. A lifelong New Yorker, Hopper took the loneliness of big city life as one of his most persistent themes, and his often dark and remarkably realistic works have come to symbolize the melancholy of modern life.
This new and sumptuously illustrated volume reproduces six of Hopper’s major works, together with selections from more than thirty other well-known artists of the time, including Man Ray, German-American expressionist Lyonel Feininger, photographer and precisionist painter Charles Sheeler, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Together, these works—all owned by New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art—illustrate the rapid development of cities, a central theme in American art prior to World War II.
Powerful and sometimes nostalgic, the works of Hopper and his contemporaries portray an earlier “modern” America—yet one whose sense of isolation, estrangement, and vulnerability resonates equally well with today’s increasingly fast-paced society. Modern Life is a beautiful and informative book and a fine introduction to this important group of twentieth-century artists.
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