Room in New York

Room in New York
Artist Edward Hopper
Year 1932
Medium Oil on canvas
Location F. M. Hall Collection of the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dimensions 29 x 36 in
73.7 x 91.4 cm
Edward Hopper Famous Paintings
Nighthawks, 1942
Automat, 1927
Early Sunday Morning, 1930
Room in New York, 1932
Hotel Lobby, 1943
Chop Suey, 1929
Office at Night, 1940
Office in a Small City, 1953
Girl at Sewing Machine, 1921
Complete Works

Edward Hopper has an uncanny ability to infuse even the most mundane scene with a sense of anxiety and even dread. This is true of his Room in New York (1932).

The Night Scene

Painted as if glimpsed through a window, Hopper’s painting takes place at night. A man sits in an overstuffed armchair, intensely reading a paper. A woman in a red dress sits, unhappily turned away from him, at a black, upright piano. One finger gently touches one of its keys. Her dress is festive. Have they been out and just came in? Are they planning on going out later on? They are separated by a very tall, paneled door whose top transom we can just see, and a round pedestal table. Hopper makes the distance between them seem unbridgeable.

Colors that Connect and Separate

Hopper, as usual, is careful with his colors. The overstuffed chair and the pleated shade of a hidden lamp echo the woman’s red dress. They are notes of vibrant color that skip across the painting. We see only part of the opened window, which is painted in severe shades of blues, grays and blacks, as if harsh moonlight is falling upon it.

Room in New York is now at the National Gallery of Art.

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