When Picasso was outsripped on home turf



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Wednesday 6 February 2013

Last update 8 February 2013 8:23 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

A major Edward Hopper retrospective has pulled in more than three-quarters of a million visitors, outstripping even a blockbuster collection of the works of long-time Paris resident Picasso.
In figures that underline the extraordinary popularity of the American realist artist, organizers revealed Monday that a total of 784,269 visitors had come through the doors of the French capital’s Grand Palais in less than four months.
The total narrowly exceeded the numbers drawn to the “Picasso and the Masters” exhibition which was held over an almost identical period in the same venue in 2008-09.
Both exhibitions concluded with round-the-clock opening on their final weekend, with the Hopper collection, which closed Sunday, drawing just under 48,000 people in a last-minute rush that included Jill Biden, wife of visiting US Vice President Joe.
“The total was far, far bigger than we expected. Even in the US, Hopper has never drawn so many people,” the exhibition’s delighted curator, Didier Ottinger, told AFP.
Ottinger said Hopper’s great success in France reflected “the French passion for an America that is not about consumerism, a more thoughtful, subtler and more humane America.”
The most successful Paris exhibition of recent years was a 2010-11 retrospective of the works of Claude Monet, which was seen by 913,064 people.
That Hopper even got close to the French impressionist master was astonishing, according to Fabrice Bousteau, editorial director of Beaux-Arts Magazine.
“Before the exhibition we did a poll of our readers and discovered half of them had not even heard of Hopper,” Bousteau told AFP. “But despite that, some of his images are part of the collective unconscious and that partly explains the phenomenal success.”
Unlike his contemporary Picasso, Hopper had to wait until beyond his 40th birthday to sell his first paintings.
Success and fame had arrived by the time of his death, aged 84, in 1967, but he and Josephine, his wife and muse, still lived in their modest, walk-up flat in New York’s Greenwich Village.
Since his death, Hopper’s reputation has steadily grown and the last decade has seen his appeal broaden to a mass audience, particularly in Europe, where his original works, mostly residing in US collections, were previously rarely seen.
Prior to showing in Paris, most of the works shown here were displayed in Madrid, where 325,000 people turned up.
A 2004 exhibition at London’s Tate Modern drew nearly 430,000 people and remains one of the most successful in that museum’s history.
A collection displayed in Milan and Rome in 2010 also surpassed organizers’ expectations as thousands flocked to get a glimpse of the mastery of light and atmosphere that have made Hopper’s reputation.
Those qualities are depicted most famously in “Nighthawks,” a late-night scene of solitary bar drinkers which has been responsible for establishing “loneliness” as one of the dominant themes of his work — in the popular imagination at least.
Hopper, who was repeatedly afflicted by bouts of depression, once said he thought the association of his paintings with loneliness was overdone.
But he acknowledged that he aspired, through his work, to offer a glimpse into the inner life of his subjects. That may explain why he has become so popular in a period of renewed economic insecurity in the Western world.

“If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint,” he once said in a remark that might sum up another of his most famous works, “Morning Sun,” which depicts a contemplative woman sitting, in a nightdress, on a bed by a window.
Hopper’s many landscapes of the US East Coast, have become equally celebrated and the eroticism, explicit in “Girlie Show” and implicit in “Nighthawks” or “Cape Cod Morning,” of many of his works may also help to explain why he touches so many people.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: A small fire broke out on the roof of the Grand Mosque on Monday morning, causing minor injuries to five people, including members of the Civil Defense, one security officer and three workers. The fire broke out at about 2 a.m. and covered an...
JEDDAH: The director general of the Saudi Industrial Property Authority, Saleh Rasheed, has said that Sadeer Industrial City, which is regarded as one of the largest industrial cities in the Kingdom, possesses great capabilities that sets it apart as...
DAMMAM: Cheap and out of date cosmetics are causing serious health problems in the Kingdom, including skin diseases, hair loss and cancer, local doctors say.These products are often manufactured incorrectly or contain harmful fats, the doctors were q...
JEDDAH: Several young Saudis have started filming Jeddah’s historic district using cameras mounted on drones to gather professional 3D footage that can be used to build models and create virtual tours.Bandar Al-Mutlaq, owner of the Arab Foundation, w...
RIYADH: The Saudi capital is fully geared for this year’s Eid Al-Fitr celebrations that include an exciting bouquet of entertainment, heritage, sports, artistic and theatrical events.The annual Muslim festivities being organized here by the Riyadh mu...
JEDDAH: As part of its growing supervisory and investigative status, Riyadh Health Department’s forensics center examined 632 cases over the past eight months involving suspected murder, rape and abuse of women and children.Khaled bin Muhammad Hassan...
RIYADH: The Syrian Expatriates Medical Association (SEMA) expressed its thanks on Monday to Saudi organizations and individuals for donating to the campaign to help Syrians affected by the ongoing conflict.SEMA has 1,300 members in Syria and other co...
RIYADH: Inclusion of the Hail rock art in the UNESCO World Heritage List is proof of the Kingdom’s status and cultural profoundness, said the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH) on Monday.Reacting to the announcement of the fou...
JEDDAH: The Yemeni community has asked the Saudi government to extend the rectification process, which ends Tuesday, claiming that there are many thousands still seeking to get proper identification documents to qualify for work visas in the Kingdom....
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has set up 343 electoral constituencies for the Dec. 12 municipal council elections.This was done on the orders of Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, the minister and head of the General Committee for the Munici...
JEDDAH: Efforts are under way to electronically handle all Haj-related works to achieve speed and accuracy, as well as reduce costs an bring in transparency, Haj Minister Bandar Al-Hajjar has said.Speaking at a workshop in Jeddah on Sunday, Hajjar sa...
JEDDAH: The Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah International Foundation for Charity and Humanitarian Works on Sunday held its third meeting in Jeddah in the presence of Prince Khaled bin Abdullah, the board chairman, and Prince Miteb bin Abdullah...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has announced that six people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in the period from June 28 to July 6.The ministry has now recorded 1,045 cases of MERS since June 2012, with 5...
ALKHOBAR: Patient visitations play an important role in the healing process, provided the well-wishers adopt the right approach by speaking and acting in a manner that the sick person’s morale is lifted. However, any wrong move by the visitor may aff...
MAKKAH: The price of residential land has registered a drastic 30 percent drop due to the slump in the market over the past six months, said an online newspaper.According to real estate dealers, the reason behind the decision was the imposition of 30...

Stay Connected

Facebook