Office in a Small City (1953; United States) by Edward Hopper

Office in a Small City - Edward Hopper - 1953; United States

Artwork Information

TitleOffice in a Small City
ArtistEdward Hopper
Date1953; United States
Dimensions71.1 x 101.6 cm
Art MovementNew Realism
Current LocationMetropolitan Museum of Art (Met), New York City, NY, US

About Office in a Small City

“Office in a Small City,” an artwork painted by Edward Hopper in 1953, presents a striking example of New Realism within the context of mid-20th-century American art. Hopper’s talent is evident in his oil-on-canvas creation, which measures 71.1 by 101.6 centimeters and forms a part of his distinctive ‘Window’ paintings. As an exemplar of the cityscape genre, this artwork is housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York, United States, where it continues to captivate viewers with its evocative depiction of urban life.

In the artwork, the viewer is presented with an isolated figure seated inside an office, visible through a large window that frames the scene. The man appears absorbed in his work, with a contemplative or possibly distant gaze directed towards the empty space of the room. His physical separation from the viewer and the outside environment reinforces a sense of solitude and introspection. The ambiance is imbued with a characteristic Hopper-esque quality of silence and stillness.

The perspective chosen by Hopper positions the viewer as an outsider looking in, which establishes an intriguing voyeuristic interaction with the subject. The cityscape beyond the interior hints at the wider urban life beyond the office, with the outlines of buildings under a vast sky suggesting the broader context of the man’s activities. The contrast between the sunlit exterior and the shadowed interior creates a striking interplay of light and shade, highlighting Hopper’s meticulous attention to lighting and its emotional impacts.

Overall, “Office in a Small City” encapsulates a moment in time with remarkable clarity and emotional depth, inviting viewers to contemplate themes of isolation, the human condition in modern society, and the relationship between individual and environment.

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