- The Magazine
Nighthawks is Edward Hopper’s best-known work. It’s a striking, memorable image depicting a nearly empty bar, around which a trio of night owls sit, lost in thought, as a bartender gazes off into the distance.
In creating the work almost 80 years ago during the throes of World War II, the famous American Impressionist has conceded that “unconsciously, probably, I was painting the loneliness of a large city.”
Even more striking — and far lonelier — is Kelly MacConomy’s contemporary twist on Hopper’s classic, dubbed COVID Nighthawks reimagined and scrubbed clean of its four solitary humans. All that remains is the empty bar and the bright light and effects.
MacConomy’s work factors into the latest show at Virginia’s Del Ray Artisans, also curated by MacConomy, featuring new works from member artists riffing on Hopper, offering interpretations of what makes his imagery quintessentially American — recurring themes of perseverance, fortitude, diversity, and egalitarianism, in spite of alienation, adversity, impoverishment, and social injustice.
After Edward Hopper: Themes of Solitude and Isolation is on display through Feb. 27 at Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave. in Alexandria. The gallery is open Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Please wear a mask. Call 703-731-8802 or visit www.thedelrayartisans.org.
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