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Edward Hopper: American blues

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Edward Hopper: American blues

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A major retrospective of the famous American painter Edward Hopper has opened in Paris.

Around 130 oils and watercolours in Hopper’s distinctive realist Americana style are on show at the Grand Palais, and trace the evolution of his work from his formative years between 1900 and 1925 to his mature years in the 60s.

The curator Didier Ottinger spent three years tracking down Hopper paintings from across the US.

He said: “The paradox of Hopper is that he has the reputation of being the most American artist when in fact what he shows is the other side of the American dream. America, it’s the movement, the crowd, the absolute frenzied energy and Hopper, it’s the loneliness, the immobility, it’s the reflection, the meditation. And that has not always been seen.”

Hopper’s paintings – which tend to concentrate either on typically American scenes like a gas station or diner or a landscape – show how the country changed over the first half of the 20th century.

Didier Ottinger added: “It is a criticism of the American society, the way it became. Hopper is a witness. He was born in 1882, he lives in a small city by the Hudson river and he witnesses this exceptionally quick transformation of the American society which, within a few decades, becomes the first industrial power.”

The Edward Hopper show runs until January 28 at the National Galleries in the Grand Palais.

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