Edward Hopper (1882–1967), Study for East Side Interior (recto), 1922. Fabricated chalk and charcoal on paper, 9 × 11 1/2 in. (22.9 × 29.2 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Josephine N. Hopper Bequest 70.342a–b
NARRATOR: This is a study for one of Hopper’s etchings, East Side Interior.
CARTERFOSTER: It’s finished but it’s also wonderfully sketchy with many of the textures and manipulations of chalk and charcoal that Hopper loved to do. He was very gifted technically and you can see that really well in this piece.
This may represent one of the first times you see the solitary figure in the room, which is a long standing and important motif in Hopper’s work. And ultimately, it’s a way for him to explore the idea of the individual’s place in the world.
But what’s really important is light. Hopper was a master of light. That was one of his stated interests in terms of being an artist. He was interested in the quality of light. And that’s very familiar from his paintings. And it may seem unusual to talk about in black and white drawings, but in fact he was a master of tonal effect.