Hopper is taciturn and traditionalist. He very well appreciates that he cannot oppose these changes, just as he cannot do anything about the collapse of abandoned houses. His art is realistic but he builds his own universe like a surrealist.
Automat, painted in 1927, is a portrait of his wife Jo having a break in a self-service cafe. She is alone, pensive and a little tired, sitting in front of a round table in the back of a room without decoration.
Chop Suey, oil on canvas 81 x 96 cm painted in 1929, stages the same young woman in another cheap restaurant, seated in front of another woman who is seen from behind. Sitting at another table in the background, a couple chats.
The theme is definitely not narrative despite its appearances. We will not know who these characters are, why they are together. These Chinese cafes that then proliferate in the United States are a symbol of a new everyday life with new forms of banalities and also with the attractiveness and the threat of internationalization and depersonalization.
In new urban spaces, geometry becomes omnipresent. Chop Suey seduced the young Mark Rothko and much later influenced his division of surfaces into color fields.
Chop Suey is estimated $ 70M for sale by Christie's in New York on November 13, lot 12 B. The low resolution image is shared by Wikimedia for fair use. Please watch the video shared by the auction house.
SOLD for $ 92M including premium