Nighthawks (cropped) by Edward Hopper, 1942 (Art Institute of Chicago)
Alfred Hitchcock and American painter Edward Hopper, an unlikely artistic pair, shared a rich and complex vision: Both were deeply affected by the traditions of film noir. Each created a unique visual language shaped by the psychological implications of spectatorship, voyeurism, and viewer empathy. They also imbued their often-commonplace subjects with a deeper, and disquieting meaning: Windows that both reflect and reveal, strategically placed spots of color, a lit cigarette, and shadows all seem to carry more meaning than they otherwise might.
Using film stills from Rear Window, Psycho, and other iconic Hitchcock classics, as well as such Hopper paintings as New York Movie and Nighthawks, David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, explores the formal and thematic links between these artists.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
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