Summer evening by Edward Hopper

Summer evening by Edward Hopper
Summer evening by Edward Hopper

The great magic of the paintings byEdward Hopperis that this American painter had the ability to turn us into authentic spectators of his works, almost voyeurs of the characters he paints. He had the ability to paint the everyday, the simplest and the most boring intimacy, and turn the canvas into a peephole through which we peek into the lives of others. Lives in which the same thing happens as in ours, but we are still attracted to look at them.


Edward Hopper's Summer Evening

The examples of this type of painting in which nothing happens, except the vulgar existence of one or more people are many. As in the canvas shown here, made in 1947, and currently in the hands of a private individual. The painting is titled in an extremely simple way, Summer Evening, and that is what he has painted a summer sunset on the porch of a house where there are two young people.

Nothing more than that. From there it is us, the onlookers who begin to speculate on the lives of these two boys. They may be a couple who just had an argument. Perhaps they are two brothers who have left the family home after dinner to take the fresh air. Or maybe they're talking, getting to know each other, and it's all the harbinger of a torrid romance.

This kind of speculation we all do before the pictures of Hopper. And perhaps more in many of his works withnocturnal atmosphere, as in his painting Gas or in his famous Noctámbulos. They are images in which the characters glow in the dark, seem to protect themselves from the mysteries of the night and protect themselves, and instead remain visible to everyone. And even if nothing happens, we look interested in these characters, to the point of wondering about the reasons that have brought them there or what their future will be.

Bring out our most nosy character, and for that it also plays with ambiguity, with character attitudes that are not obvious, but rather open to interpretation. Let's look at the boy in the painting. He looks like he puts his hand to his chest. Why? Is he asking for your forgiveness for something or is he swearing eternal love to you?

That is the distinguishing feature of Hopper's art, a creator who somehow went against the current. While everything abstract triumphed, he opted for figuration. And while figurative paintings are expected to tell some story, he tells nothing. It is we, the onlookers, who invent the lives and situations of these characters. And besides, he encourages each of us to do it our own way.

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