Sotheby's upcoming American Art Auction will witness Edward Hopper taking centerstage on November 16, 2018.
The auction will be led by Hopper’s iconic autobiographical painting, "Two Comedians" (estimate $12/18 million). Executed in 1966, "Two Comedians" represents the culmination of Hopper’s career and manifests a number of the most important themes that he explored in his art. The work depicts the artist and his wife Jo on stage, taking a bow before turning to walk into the unknown.
Extensively exhibited and illustrated in literature on Hopper and 20th–century American art, "Two Comedians" is distinguished further by its notable provenance: it was acquired by Frank and Barbara Sinatra in 1972, and remained in their collection until it was purchased by the current owners in 1995.
The auction will also witness significant examples by American icons such as Norman Rockwell, Grant Wood, Georgia O’Keeffe, Horace Pippin, and Robert Henri. Highlights from the auction are now on view in Sotheby’s New York galleries, with the full exhibition of all works opening on November 13, 2018.
Edward Hopper is widely recognized as the most important realist painter of twentieth-century America. But his vision of reality was a selective one, reflecting his own temperament in the empty cityscapes, landscapes, and isolated figures he chose to paint. His work demonstrates that realism is not merely a literal or photographic copying of what we see, but an interpretive rendering. Edward Hopper was born in 1882, in New York, into a middle class family. From 1900 to 1906 he studied at the New York School of Art, and while in school, shifted from illustration to works of fine art. Upon completing his schooling, he worked as an illustrator for a short period of time; once this career path ended, he made three international trips, which had a great influence on the future of his work, and the type of art he would engage in during the course of his career. He made three trips to Europe between 1906 and 1910. In retrospect, Europe meant France, and more specifically, Paris, for Edward Hopper. The city, its architecture, light, and art tradition, decisively affected his development.
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