Among the greatest painters of 1900, in his work Edward Hopper has originally captured aspects of modern life pervaded with moments of loneliness, abandonment, anxiety and melancholy. After working as an illustrator for a long time, Hopper took some painting classes at New York School of Art getting inspired by artists like Manet, Velazquez, Courbet and Goya and developing a strong preference for the study and the effects of light, giving life to a new aesthetic approach. One that influenced not only the popular culture but also cinema and photography. “Hopperiana. Social distancing before Covid-19”, an exhibition that can be visited online on the Photology Gallery website until 28th February (https://www.photology.com/photology-online-gallery/) is a clear example of such influence. Main focus of the exhibition are four photographers, Luca Campigotto, Gregory Crewdson, Franco Fontana and Richard Tuschman, in whose pictures we notice a very strong influence of Hopper’s aesthetics.
Indeed, the authors exhibited adopted the visual filter of this painter and reinterpreted it in a personal way, realising strongly destabilising photographic works where the leading character is a sort of metaphysical incommunicability and isolation, feelings that we unfortunately had to experience in recent times during the lockdown periods. “Hopperiana” tells about the melancholy and loneliness of an entire culture that despite, or probably because of its great technological and economic development, was forced by some unexpected events to put the brakes on its relentless progress and stop for a deep reflection. A visual storytelling of the contemporary age, with its silent non-places, inhabited by figures pervaded by a painful sense of alienation.
Above: Gregory Crewdson , Untitled (Beer Dream), 1998, Courtesy Photology