Vulnerable and Threatening: Edward Hopper's Female Nudes.
Rice, Katherine E.
- Edward Hopper's oeuvre provokes a great deal of scholarship in the art historical field. There is, however, a decided lack of psychoanalytic theory applied to his paintings. Hopper's complex biography demonstrates the need for such a theoretical approach. This approach is particularly necessary when analyzing five of his female nudes. This thesis closely explores "Summer Interior," "Evening Wind,"... read more"Eleven A.M.," "Morning in a City," and "A Woman in the Sun." The works are artistic manifestations of Hopper's repressed anxieties regarding women. Hopper confines female subjects to his canvas, exerting his masculinity in a way that he could not in reality. Examining these works reveals further intricacies in Hopper's relationships with women. The pieces also acknowledge changes that were taking place in twentieth century America. Female autonomy grew as women entered the workforce, embraced their sexuality, and abandoned the limitations of their Victorian upbringings. Hopper's female nudes can therefore be seen as depicting male apprehensions about the new roles that women were playing. This thesis examines Hopper's female nudes formally, historically, biographically, and psychoanalytically, finding that they demonstrate Hopper's attempt to relegate the female to a sphere of his complete control.read less