Art Review: Edwin Hopper And Urban Realism

A new exhibit explores impressionist-inspired takes on "the new modern urban reality."
November 25, 2003, 5am PST | David Gest
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Works by Edwin Hopper and eight other post-impressionists focus on the gritty reality of urban life. Hopper's "The El Station...uses loose, deft brushwork...He creates a strong feeling of fleeting motion through the diagonal lines of the track that cut across the bottom of the composition...Trains provided the painters with the perfect setting to explore an intimate situation in very public places." One painting explores voyeurism in the public environment on trains. Another uses the "juxtaposition of intense areas of color with the sepias and umbers of the city grime [to give] a sense of the vitality and vigor of the city...[Raphael Soyer’s] crowded compositions mimic the claustrophobic proximity of people in urban settings. Not only are [the characters in the painting] confronted by their desire to get away from someone so 'other,' but so are we."

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Wednesday, November 19, 2003 in Columbia Free Times
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