Hotel Window, 1955 by Edward Hopper
Hotel Window is a classic example of Hopper’s evocative exploration of the theme of isolation in American urban life in the 20th Century. Depicting an elegantly dressed older woman seated on a navy couch in an anonymous hotel lobby staring absently out of a darkened window, the large-scale (40 by 55 in.) canvas expresses the loneliness and alienation that defined not only a certain aspect of American experience, but also, in the artist’s phrase, the “whole human condition”.
On 11/29/2006 at Sotheby's before a crowded salesroom, Hotel Window is sold for $26,896,000, soaring well above the presale estimate of $10/15 million and setting a record for the artist at auction.
Discussing Hotel Window, Dara Mitchell, Sotheby’s Director of American Paintings, has written:
Hopper’s bold, realist style and distilled compositional format reinforce the psychological power of Hotel Window and have close connections to many elements of film noir. The stark light, spare setting and lone female figure create an atmosphere of unease and emptiness which characterized this genre’s particular brand of human disconnection. Self-imposed solitude, the result of the individual’s disappointment in human interaction, was a societal ill that defined the American experience as depicted by both Hopper and the auteurs of contemporary fiction and film. Hopper’s interest is not in telling a story, however, it is in the single image and its evocative possibilities."
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