Hopper Drawing
Audio Guide Playlist

An in-depth exploration of the connections between Edward Hopper’s drawings and paintings with commentary by Carter Foster, Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawing at the Whitney.


CARTER FOSTER: These three drawings are for a painting called Morning Sun that Hopper painted in 1952. What's amazing about these is we can really see his wife Jo's features in the first drawing with all the color notations on it, and then we start to see her features become erased as Hopper makes her into a more generalized everywoman.

So the first drawing where Hopper was carefully recording the way that the colors interacted with light, we can recognize Jo's features. In the second drawing, we can recognize her features but they become more mask-like, more obliterated by the sunlight that's coming in and hitting her face.

And then, in the final or one of the more finished compositional studies he doesn't show her features at all but he almost squares them off and eliminates—we don't even see her eyes or her mouth. He make them almost abstract to de-emphasize her individuality and make her a more representation of an unknown character as he grapples with this issue of how to represent her in the room with the space outside.


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