Edward Hopper: Paper to Paint 

Four stars
Indianapolis Museum of Art

Known as one of the great painters of modern life, Edward Hopper was the preeminent painter associated with American Scene Painting. Hopper’s unique take on urban living — his primary subject matter — reflected on the not-so-unique nature of it: Despite the thickness of humanity within the confines of the city, and perhaps because of it, the human condition is often one of loneliness and isolation. Hopper’s painting “Hotel Lobby,” owned by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, is the subject of a smallish exhibition that traces the artistic trajectory of this single painting. The clean interior of a hotel lobby, dominated by an airlessness suggested by the colors of water and ice, was realized after a series of sketches, 10 of which are on view here, on loan from the Whitney Museum of American Art. For a glimpse into the mechanics of one artist’s singular process, there’s nothing better. The exhibition gives an even larger context with the inclusion of Hopper’s watercolor landscapes of South Truro. The paintings, while a curious contrast, still contain that quintessential Hopper coolness. Through Jan. 11; 317-923-1331.

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