A very good 20th century reproduction of one of Edward Hoppers iconic masterpieces, now in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Edward Hopper is widely acknowledged as the most important realist painter of twentieth-century America.
New York Movie shows the inside of a theatre, the audience illuminated by the light of a film. But the real focus is the usherette leaning against the wall in the aisle, her arms crossed and her chin resting dreamily on her hand. She appears to be lost in her own imagination—transported to another place, just as the audience has been drawn in to the world of the film. Hopper was a real believer in the escapist power of the cinema, and 1939 when Hopper completed New York Movie was a great year for Hollywood film. New releases included the Technicolor pioneers ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘The Wizard of Oz’.
The film projected on this screen is black and white—notes left by Hopper’s widow indicate that we’re seeing a fragment of snow-covered mountains. Hopper’s done a remarkable job making the screen seem to glow. In fact, the lighting throughout the painting is fascinating. Ceiling lights project dramatically from overhead; a wall sconce lights the usherette; there’s an unseen light in an exit stairwell. Hopper once said that it was quite difficult to bring all of these different light sources together successfully.
New York Movie may look simply like an image of a movie theatre, but in fact it’s a synthesis of several theatres.
Edward Hopper’s painting ‘Chop Suey’ sold at Christies, New York in Nov 18 for a record $91.9 Million. Period prints by Hopper can reach $50,000 at auction.
Provenance: With Gallerie du Monde, Hong Kong. Acquired by the late Sir David Tang (Hong Kong businessman and philanthropist). Anon Sir David Tang Estate sale, UK, 2019.
Gallery note: Galerie du Monde has been specializing in modern and contemporary works by internationally established Chinese artists since 1974, and it is likely that one of these highly talented artists painted this faithful reproduction, circa 1980. The painting has been conserved on a new support canvas by our gallery and presented in a new bespoke frame.