If Edward Hopper Had Been in Australia…

Australia 2012 168Architect Louis Kahn wrote a wonderful tribute to Jørn Utzon, architect of  the Sydney Opera House: “The sun did not know how beautiful its light was, until it was reflected off this building.”

I photographed the plaque with Kahn’s words in the Sydney Opera House last spring, when we visited Australia and New Zealand. The quote was an unexpected reminder of Edward Hopper, who famously said that all he wanted to do was to “paint sunlight on the side of a house.”

This got me wondering:  If Hopper had ever gotten to Australia, what would he have painted?  I think that he would have liked the Sydney Opera House, not only for its reflective surfaces but also because of the sail-like roofs and its location — seemingly floating in Sydney Harbor. And he would have been able to get the magnificent Sydney Harbor Bridge in the same frame!

And Jo would have loved the koalas, the wallabies, and the kangaroos….

New Zealand 2013 069

2 thoughts on “If Edward Hopper Had Been in Australia…

  1. Hi Bonnie,

    I loved Louis Kahn…he was a genius unappreciated by Philadelphia.
    And the quote about the Sydney Opera House is just wonderful.
    Keep up the good work.

    Mary Ellen

    • Hi, Mary Ellen…Great to see your comment! Yes, Louis Kahn’s work is indeed amazing, and Mike and I were delighted to see his wonderful words emblazoned on the wall in the Opera House. I don’t know what Kahn thought of Edward Hopper, or vice versa (if they thought about one another at all!). Nevertheless, both Hopper and Kahn celebrated light and architecture, each in his own way. It seems fitting to me that Hopper’s “Rooms by the Sea” is housed in the art gallery that Kahn designed for Yale University. Hopper’s “Rooms” reminds me of the Kahn-designed Salk Institute, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

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