• Mark Cator

Edward Hopper, Gas, 1940


Back in June I went to the exhibition, 'America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930's', held at the Royal Academy in London. "45 truly iconic works paint an electrifying portrait of this transformative period", but as I went close to the end of it's run the gallery was jammed packed so I merely jammed myself in front of one painting, Edward Hopper's Gas, 1940. Cinematic, eerie and glowing with sultry tension the painting is loaded with Lynchian drama. Hopper has literally stopped the moment in a haunting reverie of abject abandonment and interiority. Such paintings have a coda that demand a response.

Excited by Gas, I immediately left the Academy and wandered the surrounding streets looking for the interior lives of people caught in their own reveries. And it was right there, behind the glass vitrines of the glamourous shops, the security guards. They seemed able to switch in and out of worlds, in and out of their own self abandonment, beautifully composed to respond to the singular gestures of passers-by who were considering passing in.

Mark Cator, London, Interior, 2017

Mark Cator, London, Interior, 2017