Gas (1940) by Edward Hopper

Gas - Edward Hopper - 1940

Artwork Information

ArtistEdward Hopper
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions102.24 x 66.68 cm
Art MovementSocial Realism
Current LocationMuseum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, NY, US

About Gas

The artwork “Gas,” created by Edward Hopper in 1940, is an oil on canvas painting that exemplifies the Social Realism movement. Measuring 102.24 cm in height and 66.68 cm in width, the genre painting is held in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) located in New York City, New York, United States.

The artwork depicts a serene yet evocative scene of an American gas station at what appears to be the dusky end of the day. The tranquil environment is complemented by the lush greenery that represents a dense forested backdrop, sharply contrasted by the twilight sky. The gas station, positioned off-center, includes a series of red gas pumps in the foreground. A lone attendant can be seen leaning on one of the pumps, contributing to the narrative of isolation and quietude that is often found in Hopper’s work. Most striking is the soft, golden light that seems to emanate from the pumps themselves, setting a mood of introspection. An illuminated sign featuring the brand “Mobilgas” with a flying red horse Pegasus symbol hovers above the scene, reinforcing the identity of the gas station and providing a cultural iconography common to the era. The attention to detail in the architectural elements of the gas station office and the pronounced shadows cast by the structure and the street lamp convey Hopper’s characteristic mastery of light and shadow, underscoring a sense of quiet desolation. Overall, the artwork communicates a narrative of solitude and the mundane that is both specific in its details and universal in its emotional resonance.

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