Reviews - What do customers think about Edward Hopper: 1882-1967 Transformation of the Real (Basic Art)?
If it's all you can find Oct 23, 2003
This work is of medium value. The collection of reproductions is good, both in terms of the amount of them, as well as their quality. Certainly it's nothing overly-impressive, but it is a fine collection.
The problem lies more in the commentary. Renner spends a great deal of time on "re-codings" in Hooper's work, leading to many...interesting conclusions. As one reads along, one gets the impression that Hooper himself didn't have a great deal to say (espeically compared to artists, like Dali, who can't shut up), so Renner instead fills the space with what lamentably passes for art criticism these days (mostly of the postmodern and psychologizing variety). I wasn't terribly impressed.
Everything considered, you would be better served by another Hooper book from Taschen, this one written by Ivo Kranzfelder. Kranzfelder takes much greater care to deal with the little amount Hopper said, and (while the current style does occur to an extent) the commentary tends to be much more lucid as regards Hopper's works. Additionally, that volume has a much larger and better variety of Hopper's works than Renner's.
That being said, if one cannot get a hold on Kranzfelder's book, or does not want to spend the extra money for it, Renner's work is acceptable. The commentary isn't swell, but it is still passable.