Every time I hear it on my local public radio station, it annoys me. There’s an Edward Hopper exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. That’s good—I like a lot of his stuff.
The radio ad says that he painted the, “beauty of everyday things.” Grrr. I can understand why the ad copy is written that way—they think it will pull in more visitors. But I believe it completely misstates Hopper’s work. I don’t think he did that or tried to do that. He wasn’t really interested in beauty; if he had been, he wouldn’t have painted the way he did.
Hopper was trying to paint the way everyday things feel, which is by far a more difficult and worthwhile thing to do. He didn’t always succeed, but when he did (as in the brilliant “New York Movie,” for example) his paintings were fine indeed.