Art: By Transcription

Collectors, critics and fellow artists crowded Manhattan's Whitney Museum one night last week to pay homage to a somber, solitary painter who stands among the nation's best. It was the opening of Edward Hopper's first full-scale retrospective show in 17 years. On the walls were 171 drawings, etchings, drypoints, watercolors and oils—enough to dizzy gallerygoers on a first visit and delight them on a second or third.

I nil mate & Exact. Such huge retrospectives are trials by fire for an artist. If he has been repetitious, the exhibition bores the viewer: if he has followed fashion, it dates the artist. If...

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