Hopper and Kirchner: A Comparative View Essay

Hopper and Kirchner: A Comparative View Essay

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In 1912, artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner completed his painting Two Woman. Two Woman was a painting that had much depth to it, meanings that one does not notice upon first glance. Thirty years later in 1942, famed American artist Edward Cooper was placing his finishing touches on his masterpiece Nighthawks, which was a painting that expressed both the general feelings of the time as well as Cooper's overall life experience. Both Two Woman and Nighthawks have much in common due to their personalities and experience with isolation and loneliness, which are reflected in their art.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a German artist, a painter, and a print maker. Born in 1880, Kirchner was an expressionist artist. He would paint subjects from a sole perspective, often changing them drastically to bring across a viewpoint or message, which he wanted conveyed. He was a founding member of an artist’s group named 'Die Brücke' or 'The Bridge'. Originally based in Dresden, the group later moved to Berlin where they would have the ability to draw from the city's fast moving pace into their art. Nudes played a large part in their paintings. The group often engaged in casual sex, as well as walked around their studio naked. Spontaneity played a rather large part in paintings. Kirchner often painted subjects in fifteen-minute sessions in order to preserve the spontaneity of the moment. Shortly after the group moved to Berlin, some arguments broke out, which later lead to the dissolution of the group. The many diverse artistic viewpoints which were to be found in Berlin, led to rifts in the group.

Kirchner's life was not an easy one. He attempted to start an art school, but failed miserably, which showed in his art. Through his artwork in Berlin, he at...


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...ainting; Nighthawks and Two Women do not seem similar in the least, upon a second deeper look one begins to notice their similarities. Similarities which are found both in the actual paintings; as well as in the places in their lives which the respective artists found themselves. Both were going through a period of isolation, which was taking place in either their personal lives, society around them, or both. These feelings were passed on to their paintings, leaving us, the viewer to gaze at them, study them and hear the message which they speak.





Works Cited

Scholarly article used: Lucius Grisebach. "Kirchner, Ernst Ludwig." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 29 Nov 2011.

Levin, Gail. Edward Hopper : an intimate biography. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

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