Today In Art History

“In general it can be said that a nation’s art is greatest when it most reflects the character of its people.”-Edward Hopper

Hopper                                   Calder

Edward Hopper                                                           Alexander Calder

2 American artists I’ve always admired were born today: Edward Hopper in 1882 and Alexander Calder in 1898 and both hail from northeastern states; Hopper from Nyack, NY and Calder from Lawnton, Pa. Both artists had parents who were very supportive of their artistic talents. Lucky them! In fact, Calder’s parents were artists: his mom was a painter, his dad a sculptor and even as a child, young Alexander had his own studio! Hopper’s parents, while very supportive, tried directing him towards a commercial field of art to make money, but Edward’s passion was in the Fine Arts. If Hopper’s parents were around today, they’d probably say “Graphic Arts” or “Digital Arts” should be the area of endeavor. Calder had an engineering degree, which, I imagine, was a plus when constructing his huge mobiles. Both artists were fortunate to reap recognition while they were alive.

“American artist Alexander Calder redefined sculpture by introducing the element of movement, first though performances of his mechanical Calder’s Circus and later with motorized works, and, finally, with hanging works called “mobiles.” In addition to his abstract mobiles, Calder also created static sculptures, called “stabiles,” as well as paintings, jewelry, theater sets, and costumes.”

On Edward Hopper, Laura Cumming of The Observer wrote: “One was aware,’ wrote a friend, ‘of a slight displacement in his experience of his own person … as when we are strange to ourselves, and become objects of our own contemplation.’ That quality is crucial to the power of Hopper’s art, as to the minds of his men and women. They are absorbed, abstracted, almost hypnotically disengaged from the world around them: and Hopper’s gift goes outwards too. After a while you become one with them, rapt, still, solitary in your absorption as the people in these spellbinding pictures.”the guardian/the observer





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