Edward Hopper was a master of distillation. His powerful ability to observe, stage, and edit have resulted in some of the most iconic images in American painting. He manages to evoke not just a geographic sense of place, but a location’s emotional essence as well.
The drawings document Hopper’s perception and thought in real time. Raw reportage. It might be the flicker of what he’s seeing at a given moment while riding the elevated train, or the framing of a scene he’s studied for some time. We watch him record, digest and process the world. Through his drawings, we experience, visually, the artist’s brain at work.
This show is also an opportunity to marvel at Hoppers draftsmanship, which is something not always evident in his paintings. And to support the drawings, the Whitney provides sketchbook pages, vintage photographs, maps, floor plans, and—oh yes—21 paintings.