EDWARD HOPPER (1882-1967)
EDWARD HOPPER (1882-1967)
EDWARD HOPPER (1882-1967)
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EDWARD HOPPER (1882-1967)
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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
EDWARD HOPPER (1882-1967)

The Lily Apartments

EDWARD HOPPER (1882-1967)
The Lily Apartments
signed 'Edward Hopper/New York' (lower right)
watercolor and pencil on paper
14 x 20 in. (35.6 x 50.8 cm.)
Executed in 1926
Frank K.M. Rehn Galleries, New York (1926).
Mrs. L.L. Coburn, Chicago, acquired from the above.
Frank K.M. Rehn Galleries, New York (1928).
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence A. Fleischman, Detroit (1954).
Frank K.M. Rehn Galleries, New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Joel William Harnett, New York (acquired from the above, 1963).
Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc., New York (1989).
Private collection (acquired from the above, 1994).
Godel & Co. Fine Art, New York (2006).
Acquired from the above by the late owner, 2008.
Artist’s Record Book I, p. 63.
C.H., “An American Artist” in New York Sun, 24 November 1933, p. 29 (illustrated as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments).
American Artists Group, Edward Hopper, New York, 1945 (illustrated as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments).
L. Goodrich, Edward Hopper, New York, 1949, (illustrated as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments, pl. 6).
L. Goodrich, A Silent World: a Portfolio of Eight Watercolors and Drawings by Edward Hopper, New York, 1966 (illustrated).
L. Harnett, “Weekend in New York” in Newburgh Citizen Herald, 24 May 1967, p. 21 (illustrated as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments).
G. McCoy, “The Best Things of Their Kind Since Homer” in Archives of American Art Journal, vol. 7, July-October 1967, p. 13.
A.T.E. Gardner and M.W. Brown, The New York Painter: A Century of Teaching, Morse to Hofmann, New York, 1967, pp. 52, 89 (illustrated).
L. Goodrich, Edward Hopper, New York, 1971, p. 185 (illustrated as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments).
G. Levin, Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist, New York, 1980, p. 189 (illustrated).
G. Levin, Edward Hopper, 1882-1967: Gemälde und Zeichnungen, Munich, 1981, p. 189 (illustrated).
British Broadcasting Corporation, Television Arts Department, documentary film on Edward Hopper, February 1981.
G. Levin, Edward Hopper, New York, 1984, p. 30 (illustrated in color, as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments).
G. Levin, Hopper’s Places, New York, 1985, p. 19 (as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments).
J.A. Ward, American Silences: The Realism of James Agee, Walker Evans and Edward Hopper, Baton Rouge, 1985, p. 177 (as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments).
Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc., American Paintings VI, New York, 1990, pp. 156-59 (illustrated in color as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments, p. 159).
Neues Publishing Company calendar, published 1991.
G. Levin, Edward Hopper: A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, New York, 1995, p. 102, no. W-133 (illustrated in color).
G. Levin, Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography, New York, 1995, p. 198.
G. Levin, The Complete Watercolors of Edward Hopper, New York, 2001, p. 102, no. W-133 (illustrated in color).
A. Berman, Edward Hopper’s New York, San Francisco, 2005, pp. 79 and 82-83 (illustrated in color, pp. 82-83).
B. Weber, Paintings of New York, 1800-1950, San Francisco, 2005, pp. 47-49 (illustrated in color as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments, p. 48).
B.T. Clause, Edward Hopper in Vermont, Hanover and London, 2012, p. 148.
New York, Frank K.M. Rehn Gallery, Recent Works by Edward Hopper, February-March 1927, no. 7.
Hartford, Morgan Memorial, Exhibition of Water Colors of Edward Hopper, November-December 1928.
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Edward Hopper: Retrospective Exhibition, November-December 1933, no. 42 (illustrated).
The Arts Club of Chicago, Exhibition of Paintings by Edward Hopper, January 1934, no. 43.
Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, An Exhibition of Paintings, Watercolors, and Etchings by Edward Hopper, March-April 1937, no. 91.
Art Institute of Chicago, The Eighteenth Annual International Exhibition: Water Colors, Pastels, Drawings and Monotypes, March-May 1939.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, This is Our City: An Exhibition of Paintings, Watercolors, Drawings and Prints Presented for the Greater New York Fund, March-April 1941.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts and Detroit Institute of Arts, Edward Hopper Retrospective Exhibition, February-July 1950, p. 22, no. 86 (illustrated).
New Delhi, All-India Fine Arts & Crafts Society, American Water Color Exhibition, October 1954, no. 27.
Detroit Institute of Arts, Collection in Progress: Selections from the Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman Collection of American Art, September-October 1955, p. 35, no. 41 (illustrated as Manhattan Bridge and Lily Apartments).
Manchester, Currier Gallery of Art; Providence, Rhode Island School of Design, Museum of Art and Hartford, Wadsworth Athenaeum, Watercolors by Edward Hopper with a Selection of his Etchings, October 1959-February 1960, no. 4.
Milwaukee Art Center, American Painting 1760-1960: A Selection of 125 Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence A. Fleischman, March-April 1960, p. 88 (illustrated).
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Detroit, Detroit Institute of Arts and City Art Museum of St. Louis, Edward Hopper, September 1964-May 1965, no. 89.
New York, Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, The New York Painter: A Century of Teaching, Morse to Hofmann, September-October 1967, pp. 52 and 89 (illustrated, p. 52).
New York, Andrew Crispo Gallery, Ten Americans: Masters of Watercolor, May-June 1974, no. 81 (illustrated).
Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Oils and Watercolors by Edward Hopper, June-September 1975, no. C-8 (illustrated).
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, 20th Century American Art from Friends' Collections, July-September 1977.
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; London, Hayward Gallery; Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum; Dusseldorf, Stadtische Kunsthalle; Art Institute of Chicago and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Edward Hopper: The Art and the Artist, September 1980-February 1982, p. 189 (illustrated in color, pl. 240).
University of Richmond, The Marsh Gallery, The Harnett Collection of American Paintings, January 1989.
Washington, D.C., National Museum of American Art; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Edward Hopper: The Watercolors, October 1999-March 2000, pp. 46-47 (illustrated in color, p. 46).
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Hopper Drawing, May-October 2013, pp. 95-96, 233, no. 159 (illustrated in color, p. 95).
Special notice
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Max Carter
Max Carter Vice Chairman, 20th and 21st Century Art, Americas

Lot Essay

Living and working in Greenwich Village for the majority of his career, Edward Hopper famously utilized the streets and structures of New York City as both setting and subject for some of his most renowned, psychologically compelling pictures, such as Early Sunday Morning (1930, Whitney Museum of American Art). One of his rare watercolors of New York, The Lily Apartments captures a crossroads—featuring both traditional and modern architecture where Hopper could explore a moment of poignant stillness within the bustling twentieth-century city.
Hopper began painting the New York cityscape during his early years studying at the New York School of Art under Robert Henri. While the young artist soon departed from the gritty, bravura depictions of the Ashcan School and fellow students like George Bellows and Guy Pène du Bois, he embraced one of Henri’s central teachings: to paint the city and street life he knew best. Yet, as Carol Troyen writes, “Hopper rarely used watercolor to depict New York. He painted more than 350 watercolors in his career; of these, fewer than a dozen are of identifiable places in the city.” ("'The Sacredness of Everyday Fact': Hopper's Pictures of the City," Edward Hopper, exhibition catalogue, Boston, Massachusetts, 2007, p. 233n32) Indeed, only nine watercolors listed in the catalogue raisonné appear to depict New York City, six of which are in institutional collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Utica, New York; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano, Switzerland.
Hopper’s limited series of New York watercolors were all painted between 1925 and 1928, during a critical period of the artist’s career when he was newly gaining recognition for his painting rather than printmaking and commercial work. Indeed, Hopper gave up illustration completely in 1925 after the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts became the first museum to acquire one of his easel paintings, Apartment Houses of 1923. During this time, Hopper focused on the environs seen from and around his studio at Washington Square to inspire beautifully executed watercolors that capture the zeitgeist of Manhattan in this era.
Hopper painted The Lily Apartments from the pedestrian walkway of the Manhattan Bridge, looking to Market and Henry Streets toward downtown Manhattan. As in all of Hopper’s works, he uses painstaking detail to depict realistic vistas. Daniel S. Palmer notes, “Here, [Hopper] depicted the intersection of Market and Henry streets just under the bridge, recording the bridge railing, billboard, and ornate apartment buildings with great accuracy. He even alluded to the inscription on the title building’s upper corner, which read ‘The Lilly’ before it was demolished in 1932 (not ‘Lily,’ as his wife, Joe, wrote in the Record Book). This level of detail in an inexact medium shows how precisely Hopper observed and recorded his surroundings.” Parker also observes the Yiddish billboard cropped to the right of the composition, noting, “This makes sense for a view from the Manhattan Bridge; the area was predominately Jewish from the 1900s through the 1930s, and billboards with Yiddish text were common” (D.S. Palmer, “A View from the Bridge,” Hopper Drawing, exhibition catalogue, New Haven and London, 2013, p. 96 and 97n13).
Manhattan Bridge was one of Hopper’s favorite subjects in his downtown neighborhood. The relatively newly-built steel suspension bridge, spanning from the Lower East Side across the East River to Downtown Brooklyn, was an intriguing mix of sleek modernism and traditional, decorative elements for the artist to explore. Indeed, the bridge served as inspiration for four of Hopper’s nine New York watercolors: Manhattan Bridge (1925, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge); Manhattan Bridge (circa 1925-26, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York); Manhattan Bridge Entrance (1926, Private Collection); and the present work, The Lily Apartments. Troyen describes, “Clearly, he found the bridge itself a compelling subject. Completed in 1909, the Manhattan Bridge was an up-to-the-moment, all-steel structure whose ornamental style was nonetheless eclectic. It featured towers with an almost two-dimensional, minaret-shaped profile and a spherical, vaguely Moorish ornament at their top. The bridge’s Canal Street entrance, in contrast, was a majestic stone arch in the Beaux-Arts style, designed by the New York architectural firm Carrère and Hastings. In 1925 and 1926 Hopper painted four watercolors of and from the bridge. These are sparkling images showing the near 1500-foot suspended span and its towers and the arch at Canal Street. In 1928 the artist returned to the bridge and made at least three sketches on the spot in anticipation of an image in oil.” ("'The Sacredness of Everyday Fact': Hopper's Pictures of the City," p. 121)
In The Lily Apartments, as in the later oil Manhattan Bridge Loop (1928, Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts), Hopper crops his composition to focus on a controlled depiction of the vastness of the city’s architecture. Like the oil, Hopper inserts a boundary between viewer and structure—a classic Hopper motif meant to isolate the observer. Beyond focusing on an area of downtown New York with a mixing pot of architecture, Hopper also individualizes his subject through a unique viewpoint. As seen in works like From Williamsburg Bridge (1928, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), Hopper was often attracted to perspectives from bridges and roofs because the raised, sloped viewpoints could reveal areas like top-story windows, which could not usually be seen by a pedestrian.
Epitomizing each of the elements that distinguish Hopper’s New York watercolors among his best work, The Lily Apartments realistically memorializes a distanced view on downtown New York architecture, while inexorably drawing the viewer into the artist’s unique perspective on the detachment of modern life in the city.

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