Friday, January 28, 2011

A HOPPER, skip and a jump!

As posted previously, I took my snow day from SVA yesterday to walk some slushy miles around the upper part of Manhattan. Specifically, from Spanish Harlem (SphaHa) down to Hunter College and The Whitney Museum of American Art. I went for the Edward Hopper show, as his prints have always been hanging in my parents house, making these particular few paintings feel like family, for as long as I can remember. There was even the slightest sense of shock, walking around one of the corners in the gallery and seeing this:

Which I know in my logical, college educated brain that this is Hopper's 'Early Sunday Morning' which he painted in 1930. However, in my immediately nostalgic and naive brain I thought 'When did we bring that here? How did they get it?' As this print has been hanging, actual size, in the living room in SoHo since I was born. Duh. Its a print (slaps forhead). I did not actually speak this aloud to the guards and museum goers, or the boy with the loudest swooshy snow pants running about the hall, but I still felt my face get all hot and blushy when I realized yes, I thought this classic american painting was from our collection of prints. I can be such a fool in love when it comes to American Classics. Remember this baby?

Another painting so familiar to the masses that it could be old relative who falls asleep in the same chair every Thanksgiving, and we just let them. Hopper's 'Gas' painted in 1940. I feel like we've all received a postcard at some point in our lives from a friend traveling not too far, but far enough to send one, down some back country bumpkin road in what could be any state, and it being this image of Mr. OverAlls at the red pump. Do you not agree?

I very much enjoyed this show, and got my weekly dose of Americana just being there. What I liked probably the most out of any of these works, were the watercolors. Noticing the paint discrepancy in a lot of the oils, the watercolors stood out to me. In his oil on canvas pieces, Hopper painted some almost as if he was short on paint, or running out, or just very stingy with it. Very very thinly applied, to the point of transparency in some of his work, while later ones seem to show more of it gobbed on there. That may be the case with oils, but not the lighter watercolors.

Watercolor is one of my favorite mediums to work in, and to see these fresh, crisp watercolor on paper works was breathtaking! It looked like they were all painted yesterday, dried on the kitchen table, and hung up today. I could close my eyes and SEE them being painted, they were so clear. But watercolor is just like that if you ask me. There are no tricks, not really anyway, no smoke and mirrors-everything shows. Each and every time Hoppers brush touched down and came off of the paper, the entry and exit of each stroke, was right there, before Manhattan's eyes. Really incredible feeling.

I had some good feelings yesterday and some bad ones. The bulk of the bad ones really being the failure of my boots, which I bought in England to keep my feet warm and dry in inclement weather such as yesterdays, and they just did not stand up and do their part, at all. Kind of a bummer. But along with bad weather, comes good photos. Here are some I took on my Alaskan walk thought uptown yesterday...

Doesn't this just scream snow angels? It was sufficiently fenced off to the public though...

No hoops for Upper East Siders todayyyy

Could it have been any slushier? 7 million wet ankles say no, it can't.

Some soccer mom (turned hockey mom this time of year) is going to be pisssssssed!

As if New Yorkers aren't destroying enough wildlife themselves, heres a nice kick in the pants brough to you by the phenomenon know as thundersnow.

Whats a good day without some new friends?

At first thought these little guys were all that remained of an abandoned fruit cart, but I guess they were just made by vegetable hating children.

I dont know how this man got in there, but he looks far from ever getting out :-/

I will save the other show at the Whitney for another post, where I can dedicate much much more time and energy to describing it. Please go see it. Any fan of Godzilla or Polly Pocket will LOVE it, and you'll see why when I do post it on here.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Alexa

    Really enjoyed this blog and I love the Hoppers work. Can't wait to visit so you can take me to some shows.

    Oh the poor boots the are lovely leather boots, a fashion statement. What you need is a pair of snow boots.

    Bye for now