Visualising interior space

Hitchcock - Hopper

Edward Hopper, Night Windows 1928 top

Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window 1954 above

As discussed on Monday, the connection between Hitchcock and Edward Hopper. On further investigation it seems the connection was sometimes almost literal as seen above but the themes of urban isolation and loneliness and, above all, that we are all voyeurs threads through both. The huge sound stage used for Rear Window was created to look like Greenwich Village in New York which is also where Hopper did many of his night paintings. The interior spaces are often shown as small cocoons of light where the occupants are aware only of their small parcel of space. Hopper's art seemed to strike a chord with depression era America and he became well off during the 1930's. He continued to sketch houses at night from his car and returned again and again to the theme of a couple in a room, in silence (Degas, Sickert?). The ambiguity in many of his interiors and a sense of narrative suspense has been attributed to his fascination with cinema. The paintings are often distilled, using light, to the experience of a 'moment' .

The device of viewing an interior from outside, as a voyeur, makes for a fragmented picture of peoples' lives and their environments. The window seems a vital release. There is a caged or claustrophic mood as the spaces seem cell like and one is less aware of the other rooms.

Edward Hopper, Room in New York 1932

With thanks to the Alfred Hitchcock Geek

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