Edward Hopper - Form Project
This painting is titled Morning in a City and was done by the artist Edward Hopper in 1944. Edward Hopper was a student of Robert Henri (the founder of American Realism and the Ash Can School) at the New York School of Art. This painting may be about a woman who has just gotten out of bed or bath. The major formal elements of this work are space, color, and line.
You may be confused by the two photos above. The one on the top is the correct way the painting looks. The other image of the painting is not as nice and may have been altered digitally by someone. I love Edwards color! If you look at the wall just above the bed you can see how he depicted the walls various colors depening on what type of light was hitting it. This effect is dramatic. Hopper did experiment with impressionism in 1907 when he went to paris which i am sure helped him in his development of his color palette. To get the effect he did of the colors in the wall he must had really looked at the walls subtle values of light and dark. In the visual essentials vocabulary page color is defined as the visual response to different wavelength of sunlight identified as red, green, blue, and so on; having the physical properties of hue, intensity, and value.
Jo Nivison was his wife and model and most likely the figure in this painting. When looking at this image we can see how Hopper played up the sexual tension. He did so by having the light hitting the figure and also by choosing the context of a private moment in the morning. This painting along with other Hopper paintings has a sexual vibrancy. This vibrancy may have possibly come from the love and enthusiasm he had for his wife. However they were known to fight often so maybe not.
Form is the use of visual elements to create such effects as harmony, variety, and balance. Below is an image of a sketch that Edward Hopper did as a study for this painting (artstor image database). You can see from this sketch that the formal elements of this painting were very much influenced by his attention to the figure. Hopper gave much attention the figure, portrait, and hands holding the towel. Also in this sketch one can see how he practiced depicting how the light contrasted with dark. When we view this sketch we can see that from the start Hopper had the intention to create a certain mood through his use of light on the figure.
The next image Shows how Hopper studies the formal elements of harmony through his use of space and line. The room and the figure all flow harmoniously together on the picture plane. The figure stands in the center of the room facing a sun soaked window. The window and the figure work harmoniously because they are both vertical. He used this technique repeatedly with a variety of vertical shapes to create harmony. Theses vertical shapes can be found in the corner of the wall, curtains, the buildings' windows outside, and the shaded doors. You can also see a rectangular shape of light on the windowsill as well as the bed. These features help the painting have balance. The overall space of the bedroom in which the figure resides is very simple and minimalistic. This simplicity helps viewers recognize Hopper's interest in the interplay of the figure and the outside world.