Art in Movies

Edward Hopper and His Relationship to American Cinema

Edward Hopper is considered one of the most famous American artists of the 20th century. Although he struggled in the beginning of his career, he would later come to find great success and become influential to many aspects of American culture. During the time that Hopper was finding his place as a painter, the cinema was becoming more and more popular and the artist himself was a fan. Many speculate that movies influenced some of his artistic choices, while other say it was his work that influenced films.

Hopper’s use of light and dark, as well as the framing of his subjects in the scene, are the strongest similarities with popular movies at the time. Film Noir, such as the movie The Killers, was especially close to his artwork in tone, embracing the idea of urban isolation. Alfred Hitchcock attributed some of his Gothic American style to his admiration for Hopper’s work. The director’s famous horror film, Birds was especially influenced by the darkness and subtly of Hopper’s work. Even modern movies and television can owe some of their use of negative space to create tension, to the way Hopper would layout the scenes in his artwork.

Nightshawks and New York in Movies by Edward Hopper

Nighthawks is the iconic work that most people think of when they think of Hopper and his influence on modern cinema, but there are many more pieces that also represent his style. Office in a Small City and Morning Sun are both perfect examples of urban isolationism. Automat and Night Window use the darkness contrasted with the light to give the scene an eerie, almost horror movie feel.

New York Movie pays homage to the enjoyment of watching a film in the theater itself. All of these pieces and more are available to browse in our Edward Hopper Gallery full of hand painted reproductions of the master. Add one to you home theater today.

About the Author

Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas, where she studied English literature and got a masters degree in library sciences. She enjoys reading, cooking and playing with her nephews. Her best friend is her little dog Brady.