Soir Bleu

Edward Hopper, 1914

The following aricle was written by ZUZANNA STAŃSKA 14 OCTOBER 2018, in www.daily art magazine .com.

“Edward Hopper, July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967, Soir Bleu, 1914, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York © Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY[/caption] It’s an ambitious but inert picture, so heavy-handed in its allegory of detachement. The lack of connection is not however right into the viewer’s face, as it might have been done by an ironist or an expressionist. It just is everywhere.

Hopper is a painter without any sense of humour, he paints without wit, without self-awareness. His clown just couldn’t be happy. We may have to accept the fact that Hopper painted the sad clown smoking a cigarette in a café because he felt it to be a poignant scene. Soir Bleu is a vivid and monumental work painted in New York in 1914, almost four years after Hopper’s last travel to Paris.

He created this allegory of melancholy from reminiscences and the huge scale of the painting is proof of how strong an impression Parisian life had made on the young Hopper. The painting is a synthesis of many trends in French art of the end of the nineteenth century, especially in its focus on café and street culture popularized by Edgar Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, both artists Hopper deeply admired. Not long after its completion, he showed it along a painting of a New York street.

Critics were generally positive about the New York painting, but they were less enthusiastic about Soir Bleu. This was the reason why Hopper rolled the painting up and put it in storage. It wasn’t seen again until long after his death. After Soir Bleu, Hopper focused almost exclusively on American subjects.”

Wow, he rolled the painting up for almost fifty years?. He was serious about rejection and loneliness. I’ve been reading about his personal life, he was married a very long time, but not happily. He wasn’t easy to live with. His wife Josephine document all his work, and was an accomplished artist herself. He spent many hours degrading her work. He was not a nice man, but I have always loved his work.

Unfortunately, he is another artist where the work is great, but the person is not. Caravaggio, Egon Schiele, Gauguin, and now Edward Hopper. Troubled souls.

I decide to have some fun with a few of Hopper’s paintings,

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
This entry was posted in Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Soir Bleu

  1. rangerdon – Teacher, photographer, Ranger, writer. Author, THE LIFE AND TRUTH OF GEORGE R. STEWART. Father, grandfather. Wanderer
    rangerdon says:

    All those folks need are cell phones….

Leave a ReplyCancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.