Aloneness – in Art & Life (Hopper’s Nighthawks)

Cher’s Famous Art

18 April 2020

“Nighthawks”

by Edward Hopper, 1942, American Realist

Depression-era social distancing is portrayed in this oil painting (almost; the café is open–unlike those in Minnesota and much of the world right now which are not open!). Hopper’s art often presents loneliness, isolation, aloneness, and empty spaces such as this one.  This painting invites vastly different responses. For some, it is a warm, bright, welcome spot on a dark, lonely city night.  For others, it is a cold, lonely, uninviting place to avoid.  

Nighthawks by Edward Hopper

ARMCHAIR TRAVEL: For a fun, modern parody on Nighthawks, and test of your cultural literacy, check out the YouTube 2015 Super Bowl ad for American Family Insurance with Jennifer Hudson. It truly makes the painting come alive!  And I think the song “Oh…oo..child..things are gonna get better…” in the ad provides encouragement for us today! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uww-AnqUsdo

TRAVEL TIP: Part of the world-renowned collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, this oil painting is 2’6″ x 4′ 8″. This museum has a wonderful collection of art and is a must-see on any trip to the Windy City! The museum is located right next to Lake Michigan–and just a block from Millennial Park and the sculpture of the infamous Bean! Besides Nighthawks, its collection includes icons such as Water Lilies (Monet), 2 Sisters on the Terrace (Renoir), Old Guitarist (Picasso), Bedroom (Van Gogh), Paris: Rainy Day (Caillebotte), and one of my all time favorites: Sunday Afternoon on the Island of la Grande Jatte (Seurat). www.artic.edu

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