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Edward Hopper

Cape Cod Morning

1950

Stimulate the imagination

Edward Hopper's works generally feature American middle-class characters, urban or rural, engaged in daily chores or immersed in contemplative reflection. In Cape Cod Morning , a woman leans out the window of her house, visibly puzzled by what is happening outside her home.

 

As often with Hopper, this painting draws its strength not from what it shows, but from what it does not show. Indeed, this woman seems absorbed by a spectacle which is not visible to us. A doe looking

edge of the forest? A stranger approaching? A start of fire? Children playing? No clue… The focal point of the scene is off-screen, and what we are given to see is only the effect it has on this woman. That's where Hopper's talent lies: he tells us, through his characters, how interesting what's going on is… but he leaves us free to imagine what it's all about. It is therefore up to us to complete the scene according to our sensitivity: as soon as our eyes land on the work, we are invited to appropriate it. And it's hard to resist.

What we can take away:

To present an idea, we often seek to argue in as much detail as possible. However, maintaining a part of indeterminacy encourages our interlocutors to complete our remarks themselves, and thus to appropriate the idea put forward. Stimulating the imagination is already provoking adhesion.

Related topic: Communication
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