24 August 2011

USPS honours American Artist Edward Hopper…



Date of Issue : 24 August 2011

Today, the U.S. Postal Service forged ahead with its American Treasures series by issuing the 10th entry, a Forever Stamp featuring Edward Hopper's sailboat painting, "The Long Leg." Hopper's 1935 sunlit painting depicts a boat sailing against the wind near Provincetown, MA.

The oil painting (circa 1935) depicts the coast of the Provincetown area. A boat sailing near the coast can be seen, as well as an isolated house in the background. The work, preserved at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, is striking due to its use of light. As often in Hopper's oeuvre, light is used to reflect solitude, absence and waiting. There are no characters in The Long Leg, leaving the landscape completely bare and encouraging its viewers to reflect.


Edward Hopper, Self-Portrait, 1906

Edward Hopper

Known as a painter of loneliness, isolation and solitude, Hopper was born in Nyack, N.Y., July 22, 1882.While most popularly known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. In both his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life.

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              “Morning Sun” (1952)                                 Lighthouse at Two Lights 

Hopper was a good student in grade school and showed talent in drawing at age five. He readily absorbed his father’s intellectual tendencies and love of French and Russian culture.In his early self-portraits, Hopper tended to represent himself as skinny, ungraceful, and homely. Though a tall and quiet teenager, his prankish sense of humor found outlet in his art. Hopper began painting urban and architectural scenes in a dark palette. Then he shifted to the lighter palette of the Impressionists before returning to the darker palette with which he was comfortable.

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          Girl at Sewing Machine (1921)              New York Restaurant (1922)

Hopper derived his subject matter from two primary sources: one, the common features of American life (gas stations, motels, restaurants, theaters, railroads, and street scenes) and its inhabitants; and two, seascapes and rural landscapes. Regarding his style, Hopper defined himself as “an amalgam of many races” and not a member of any school, particularly the “Ashcan School”. Once Hopper achieved his mature style, his art remained consistent and self-contained, in spite of the numerous art trends that came and went during his long career.Hopper died in his studio near Washington Square in New York City on May 15, 1967.


People in the Sun

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