Edward Hopper, Sun in an Empty Room, 1963
Carter Foster: Sun in an Empty Room, while not a bedroom scene in this section about the bedroom, exemplifies Hopper's interest in emptying things out. Oftentimes when you study Hopper's preparatory studies for a painting with the painting itself, you see this process. You see him putting things in the drawings that he ends up taking out in the paintings. If you look at Sun in an Empty Room against all of his previous bedroom pictures, you see this process working itself out. He's emptying out the room. He takes everything out of the room, except for perhaps the viewer. The viewer is implicated and he ends up painting sunlight on the side of a house, which is something he stated he wanted to do.
He reduces things down to their essences in this work, and it puts more onus on the viewer to come up with what the meaning is, because you don't have a figure to bounce off of. But in doing so, I think he comes to this distilled point where he was doing a lot of what he wanted to do in his art.
Narrator: This is the last stop on our tour. The final item on the program is a video. Exhibition curator Carter Foster offers a tour of Edward Hopper’s New York, focusing especially on the paintings Early Sunday Morning and Nighthawks. Please watch it when you find a comfortable spot!