I think Edward Hopper’s style is a combination of Americana-realism and Expressionism. From the artwork viewed in class and the few other paintings and etchings I’ve looked at online, Hopper’s art is almost timeless with the only thing dating it being the fashion he depicts. His landscape and architectural scenes are still relevant today. If you go out to Maine you’ll still see lighthouses similar to the one depicted in the Lighthouse at Two Lights. If you go out into the countryside you might still see a house by train tracks sort of like House by the Railroad.
In Hopper’s paintings depicting people (Nighthawks, Chop Suey, Cape Cod Evening, Hotel Window), the scenes are of people are doing normal, everyday things that aren’t out of the ordinary. Eating out late, looking over the pasture or out the window, working late hours in the office, are all things a majority of people can relate to. This allows emotion to be depicted. Many of Hopper’s paintings evoke feelings of loneliness primarily because many of his subjects are alone. A lone women eating Chinese food or waiting by the exit of a movie (New York Movie) make the viewer feel the loneliness. Even with his architectural paintings, Hopper will often paint one subject be it house, lighthouse, or farm. The same emotions are conjured up when viewing the architectural paintings even though a house isn’t alive.
The viewer can also feel the monotony of everyday life in many of Hopper’s paintings. Even today, people still work late shifts and can relate to a painting of two people working during the night. People are able to relate to two friends going out to eat. Even though automats are no longer part of American culture, at one time or another many of us have eaten in a public place by ourselves. Being able to relate to the painting makes the viewer able to feel the loneliness and sadness depicted in many of Hopper’s paintings. Even in Seven A.M. and unsettling feeling can be felt because the viewer can see the storm brewing in the painting.
Being able to feel the emotions in Hopper’s paintings is why I think his artwork is part Expressionism. It is also Americana-realism because many of the settings in his artwork can be seen, even today, in America.