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“Gas” by Edward Hopper

American Realist Paintings by Edward Hopper's

“Gas” by Edward Hopper

Gas by Edward Hopper depicts an American gas station at the end of a highway. This composition was a composite of several gas stations that Hopper inspected.

Hopper struggled with this painting, and he had trouble finding suitable gas stations to paint. Hopper wanted to paint a gas station with the lights lit above the pumps, but the stations in his area only turned the lights on when it was pitch dark to save energy.

The light in this painting gives the scene of a gas station and its lone attendant at dusk an underlying sense of drama.

Hopper also captured an American country road’s loneliness, making this picture memorable and leaving an impression with its combination of natural and artificial light.

According to Hopper’s wife, this gas station motif was something he had wanted to paint for a long time.


  • Title:                         Gas
  • Artist:                       Edward Hopper
  • Year:                        1940
  • Medium:                  Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:             26 1/4 x 40 1/4″ (66.7 x 102.2 cm)
  • Category:                American Painter
  • Museum:                 Museum of Modern Art, NYC – MOMA

Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper (1882 –  1967) was an American realist painter and printmaker. While he is best known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching.

His spare and planned renderings reflected his vision of modern American life.

Hopper’s influence on the art world and pop culture is undeniable. Many artists have cited him as an influence, including Willem de Kooning, Jim Dine, and Mark Rothko.

Hopper’s cinematic compositions and dramatic use of light and dark have made him a favorite among filmmakers.

In focusing primarily on quiet moments, very rarely showing action, Hopper employed a form of realism adopted by another leading American realist.

Hopper shared his urban sensibility with John Sloan and George Bellows but avoided their overt action.

Hopper reduced our urban landscape’s monumental structures to everyday geometrics, and he depicted the city’s pulse as desolate and potentially dangerous.

Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper’s “Gas,” 1940

How Edward Hopper Used Light: Gas


“If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”
– Edward Hopper


Photo Credit: Edward Hopper [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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