Hopper at the MFA

A few nights ago we went to the Edward Hopper exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. We loved it. His images are both visually and emotionally arresting. As the exhibit’s program states, he captures enigmatic moments in a story whose narrative is unknown to the viewer. You supply your own meaning. What relationships exist among the characters in Nighthawks? Does the painting portray individual loneliness or a place of refuge in a lonely city? What thoughts preoccupy the usherette in New York Movie? It’s an exhibit I could visit many times. I lingered over the composition of New York Restaurant (the linked image does not provide a viewing experience comparable to what I experienced). A hulking figure in a dark coat exits right, on the left a waitress with a bright white apron bends over a white-tableclothed table, and at the table in the center a woman, her back to the viewer, half obscures her dining companion who is bent over his meal. The V composition of light and dark elements centered on the diners is powerful, and evidence of Hopper’s technical skill. The show runs until August. I’m sure I’ll go again.

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