Hopper & Shirley: Morning Sun


“In Hopper’s paintings we can stare at the most familiar scenes and feel that they are essentially remote, even unknown. People look into space. They seem to be elsewhere, lost in a secrecy the paintings cannot disclose and we can only guess at. It is as if we were spectators at an event we were unable to name; we feel the presence of what is hidden, of what surely exists but is not revealed. By formalizing privacy, by giving it a space where it can be witnessed without being violated. Hopper’s rooms become sad havens of desire. We want to know more about what goes on in them, but of course we cannot. The silence that accompanies our viewing seems to increase. It is unsettling. It weighs on us like solitude. “

— Mark Strand, Hopper

The first image is Edward Hopper’s 1952 painting titled Morning Sun. The second, is a screen shot from the film “From Shirley – Visions of Reality” where Austrian Director Gustav Deutsch has recreated 13 of Hopper’s better-known paintings with images that bear an uncanny cinematic recreation of Hopper’s works. Hopper’s paintings are brought alive by the film, telling the story of a woman, whose thoughts, emotions and contemplations lets us observe an era in American history. Shirley is a woman in America in the 1930s, ‘40s, ‘50s, and early ‘60s.” (Phaidon)

Credit: Mark Strand Quote and inspiration: To Escape From a CommonPlace of Existence



  1. Have always been intrigued by Hopper’s work. There is, for me, an undercurrent of sadness and isolation that I find difficult to bear–I remember walking out of Hopper exhibition a few years ago feeling bereft. At the same time, when I walk into a gallery and there’s a Hopper displayed, I’m drawn to the canvas like a moth to a flame… This movie looks intriguing, and I find it incredibly inventive…Thx for highlighting it, DK!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reminds me of Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. Very neat

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree, I’ve always found Hopper’s work compelling, evoking a longing in me to know the subjects and be witness to their thoughts, their lives. They seem so ordinary and relatable, though none of us wants to think of ourselves as ordinary.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i’ve never seen this and it is lovely and evokes a certain feel, as do all of his paintings. they always make me feel like i’m experiencing some of the inner feelings of the subjects.


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