Hopper Eitel Artist Comparison

Hopper Eitel Artist Comparison

Introduction

The following pages will analyse and compare American realist Edward Hopper 18821967 and German contemporary realist Tim Eitel b 1971 The works selected are Office in a Small City painted by Hopper in 1953 with oils on canvas and Ohne Titel Ausblick Without Title View by Tim Eitel in 2002 with acrylic paints on canvas Both artists portray loneliness and share a common theme of isolation This was conveyed in my fifth studio work which is a semirealist painting of a childhood photograph of me after my family and I moved to the United States from Germany The event influenced my identity to a large extent and I wanted to convey the isolation I felt Therefore I used similar techniques as Hopper and Eitel mainly in terms of composition tone and shading

Hopper

Analysis of formal qualities

Stated to be one of the most prominent American artists Hopper depicted realist urban and rural scenes of postwar American life and rendered his personal vision of it Born in 1882 in New York Hopper studied illustration at university though shifted to fine arts and was drawn to oil painting He was heavily influenced by Edgar Degas and duard Manet particularly their use of compositional devices and their depictions of modern urban life which is apparent in his works The height of Hoppers fame was achieved through his oil painting Nighthawks 1942 which renders weariness concern and tension of customers and a waiter in an urban anonymous diner in the depths of the night Like many of Hoppers works it is believed to echo wartime anxiety and uncertainty through the sense of isolation produced through Hoppers use of composition

This theme of isolation is apparent in Hoppers later works as well such as Office in a Small City 1952 oil on canvas 711 cm 1016 cm Arranged in a minimalist composition the work depicts a man looking out at urban architecture and cityscapes He seems isolated both physically and emotionally Through the two large and open windows which almost seem to have no glass the viewer can see in and out of the office The figure is staring out of the window and does not seem to be actively working and instead perhaps waiting for something or daydreaming

He is the only figure in the piece and is detached from unseen possible coworkers This triggers the sense of physical isolation In the cold environment of a corner office which contrasts open windows and a blue sky the man seems trapped which furthers his physical isolation Furthermore he is framed by the office windows and his head is profiled towards the windows and the wall of buildings beyond which suggests containment within his environment The figure is staring detachedly outside towards the nearby buildings and brilliant blue sky perhaps with something akin to yearning of breaking free of the physical boundaries set which trigger his isolation

There is no indication of any particular profession and the viewer cannot see any details of his face The office features bland massproduced office furniture and the white walls indicate a similarly bland building The anonymity facelessness and sombre solitude of the figure could be representative of Hoppers criticism towards postwar American business culture as the man seems to be trapped by the boundaries set by his workplace Therefore Hopper could be criticising the surge in postwar American capitalism and perhaps the isolating effect this had on ordinary workers such as the figure portrayed

Furthermore there is a strong contrast between the stark utilitarian appearance of office building and the decorative false front of the building opposite This could indicate Hoppers ambivalence towards modern urban life which is demonstrated in his other works which also portray modern and urban American society

Annotations

The subject matter of the piece is the common features of postwar American life and of its inhabitants which was commonly portrayed by Hopper

In terms of visual properties Hopper uses light sh

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