US realist painter of contemporary American life.
Hopper was born in Nyack, New York, and studied at the New York School of Art (1900–06). During the period 1906–10 he made several visits to Europe, after which he was obliged for financial reasons to work as a commercial illustrator for several periodicals (1913–23).
Recognition of Hopper's paintings came in the 1920s, when he exhibited at the Whitney Studio Club in a one-man show and in group exhibitions. In 1924 he married the painter Josephine Nivison. Hopper was eventually able to concentrate his efforts on painting; his mature work is known for its presentation of a certain mood in pictures of American city life, such as Early Sunday Morning (1930) and Nighthawks (1942). Everyday scenes are portrayed in stark reality, conveying an atmosphere of desolation or loneliness. Still figures are shown in exterior and interior settings in introspective isolation. From the 1930s Hopper's work underwent no major changes. He became a recognized exponent of American realism but always denied alliance to any school or having any social message. His work portrayed a personal and emotive view of the American scene.