EDWARD HOPPER

1882 Nyack - New York 1967

Night in the Park 1921


etching, drypoint, and burnishing on wove paper; 172 x 210 mm (6 ¾ x 8 ¼ inches)

signed in pencil below the image at right; titled and priced $30 in pencil by the artist at lower-left corner of the sheet recto

Zigrosser 20; Levin 80

A superb impression, with plate-tone, selectively wiped on the sidewalk, in front of the man, and on the lamp at the top; in very good condition with wide margins.

Hopper trained at the New York School of Art under William Merritt Chase and Robert Henri between 1900 and 1906; George Bellows was a classmate. Following trips to London and Paris, in 1913 he settled permanently in Greenwich Village where he remained for the rest of his life. In 1915, he was taught how to make etchings and drypoints by the Australian-born printmaker Martin Lewis and went on to produce nearly 70 prints between then and 1923 when he abandoned printmaking almost entirely in favor of painting.

While Night in the Park is usually described as an etching, it also incorporates a substantial amount of drypoint, especially in the pathway, the sky, and throughout the foliage. As Bellows had done in his lithograph, Solitude, from 1917 (Mason 37), here Hopper presents a nocturnal park scene. However, in contrast to the ironic situation of the lonely man sitting on a park bench surrounded by amorous couples in Bellows’s print, Hopper characteristically provides a bleaker image of the isolation of the individual in the modern world. The oblique view into the space that ultimately draws the eye to the seated figure in the distance, with his back turned to the viewer, reinforces a sense of his utter disconnectedness. The looming shadows of the trees under the streetlamp, their foliage described by vigorously scribbled lines and cross hatching, contribute to the viewer’s sense of unease. While Night in the Park is usually described as an etching, it also incorporates a substantial amount of drypoint, especially in the pathway, the sky, and throughout the foliage. As Bellows had done in his lithograph, Solitude, from 1917 (Mason 37), here Hopper presents a nocturnal park scene. However, in contrast to the ironic situation of the lonely man sitting on a park bench surrounded by amorous couples in Bellows’s print, Hopper characteristically provides a bleaker image of the isolation of the individual in the modern world. The oblique view into the space that ultimately draws the eye to the seated figure in the distance, with his back turned to the viewer, reinforces a sense of his utter disconnectedness. The looming shadows of the trees under the streetlamp, their foliage described by vigorously scribbled lines and cross hatching, contribute to the viewer’s sense of unease.

Although Hopper usually created his prints through a series of successive states or progress proofs, the majority of which are now preserved in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the collection there only includes one impression of this print, in its final state.