ART: UNDER THE CRACK OF REALITY

EDWARD HOPPER SAW AN AMERICA THAT NO OTHER PAINTER HAD GOT RIGHT. NOW WE CAN'T SEE IT WITHOUT SEEING HIM

EDWARD HOPPER DIED in 1967, nearly 30 years ago, but he remains one of those artists whose work--no matter how familiar and often reproduced it has become--comes up fresh whenever you see it. This diffident son of a Nyack, New York, dry-goods merchant had a long working life, almost all of it in America, and a sober style, some of which came from France and particularly from Manet and Daumier. One of his few public utterances--in 1927, to the effect that "now or in the near future, American art should be weaned from its French mother"--used to be taken by cultural...

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