Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to announce Edward Hopper & Company, the first of two exhibitions marking the gallery’s thirtieth year. With ten rare paintings and drawings by Hopper, and work by eight photographers spanning the years 1936 to 1974, this ambitious exhibition will explore Hopper’s enormous influence on the medium of photography. Edward Hopper & Company will be on view from March 5 through May 2, 2009, and will be accompanied by a 120-page hardcover catalogue with an essay by Robert Adams.
Important works by Edward Hopper are rarely seen outside of museums. The seven paintings inEdward Hopper & Company, all from one private collection, will include New York Corner, 1913, Circus Wagon, 1928, and Intermission, 1963, paintings which were seen in recent major Hopper retrospectives in London and Washington. Two drawings, Woman in the Sun, 1961, and Rooms by the Sea, 1951, are from the collection of the actor Steve Martin, while Summer Evening, 1947, will be on loan from the Yale University Art Gallery.
The photographers whose work has been affected by Edward Hopper are so numerous as to make one wonder if any have completely escaped his gravitational pull. Edward Hopper & Company focuses on only eight, including Robert Adams, Diane Arbus, Harry Callahan, Lee Friedlander, and Robert Frank, all of whom found aspects of Hopper’s spirit echoing in their own sensibilities. The earliest of the photographs is by Walker Evans, whose interest in new types of American subject matter often intersected Hopper’s own. The most recent of the photographs are by William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, whose parallel breakthroughs in the 1970s made it possible for ambitious color photographers to gain their footing.
Hopper’s respect for humble subjects, his interest in the psychological, his depth as a landscape artist, and his sensitivity to the power of color to communicate feeling, are only some of the elements that may have led the writer Geoff Dyer to theorize that Hopper “could claim to be the most influential American photographer of the twentieth century—even though he didn’t take any photographs.” More than almost any American artist, Hopper has had a pervasive impact on the way we see the world—so pervasive as to be almost invisible. The paintings and photographs in Edward Hopper & Company are potent evidence of his legacy, each an acknowledgement of the implications of light, of silence, of clear-sightedness.