Edward Hopper's New York

Avis Berman

Book - 2005

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Subjects
Published
San Francisco : Pomegranate 2005.
Language
English
Item Description
"A Chameleon book."
Physical Description
112 p. : ill. (some col.)
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (p. 111) and index.
ISBN
0764931547
Main Author
Avis Berman (-)
Other Authors
Edward Hopper, 1882-1967 (-)
Review by Choice Reviews

Although this book does not supplant Gale Levin's four definitive works on Hopper, particularly her catalogue raisonne (3 v., 1995), it offers appreciation and commentary in long essay form with a few new insights. Berman, a writer and historian, is good on Hopper's architectural works; some of the scenes he painted still exist, she notes. Berman offers descriptions such as seeing the artworks with their "gripping ambiguities" in Hopper's "immediate urban world" and she observes, "The city offered Hopper familiarity and privacy, culture and vulgarity," but it is hard to have another word about this artist. There is a chronicle of his life, mostly of facts set out already. Beside pictures, there are short quotes from Hopper, his commentators, his critics, and the author, along with some comparisons with other painters in New York City during Hopper's time. The book has an inadequate 16-item selected bibliography but good quality color plates of some of the great images of American art: 43 paintings including oils and watercolors, six drawings, and nine prints. There is nothing really new here, but it would serve undergraduates as an introduction to Edward Hopper's New York work. Summing Up: Optional. General readers; lower- and upper-division undergraduates. Copyright 2005 American Library Association.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Illustrated by over 50 of Edward Hopper's most powerful evocations of New York, Avis Berman's essay explores how Hopper and his work illuminate each other by analyzing what his New York is - and is not. Ever the contrarian, he offers an alternative to what other American artists seized on - the new, the gigantic, the technologically exciting. Hopper stayed away from tourist attractions or landmarks of the city's glamorous skyline. His preference for nondescript vernacular buildings is emblematic of the larger Hopper paradox: he makes emptiness full, silence articulate, banality intense, plainness mysterious, and tawdriness noble.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

An attractive and accessible book, this volume presents the paintings, prints, and drawings Hopper made of New York City, many in full-page color plates of good quality. Berman writes on Hopper's life and his work in New York, drawing extensively on his writings and interviews. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)