‘Edward Hopper, Prelude: The Nyack Years’ and ‘Hopper Happens’

Edward Hopper, famous for such works as “Gas” and “Nighthawks” —

— was born in Nyack and lived here during his formative years. The Hopper House Art Center — which is celebrating its 40th anniversary — has an exhibit this summer charting Hopper’s development as an artist before he left his hometown for Paris and New York and really left his mark on the art world and America itself.

We went to the opening reception of the exhibit on Friday. It has drawings and paintings, some of local spots such as Hook Mountain and Rockland Lake, some of his family and his homelife (a cool one of his attic studio), and one particularly striking one of his Parisian lover naked on his bedroom floor, wrapped in the sheets she pulled from the bed.

No photos were allowed inside the exhibit. But all through the summer, our friend Kris is organizing Hopper Happens, which highlights Hopper in all sorts of modern ways: flash mobs, scavenger hunts and multimedia projections. It especially examines the unique light in Nyack from which Hopper drew inspiration, and presents the people and architecture of Nyack so, as Kris says, people will have a-ha moments and recognize their surroundings in Hopper’s works.

One of the projections filled the entire front of the Hopper House Art Center Friday night, with Hopper’s characters inhabiting the windows as if they were living there today.

We’re looking forward to a summer of Hopper — and of Kris’s art, too. I promise, it’s much better in person; these dark and blurry photos don’t do justice.

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