CHOP SUEY

These fashionable women are dining at a modest Chinese restaurant not unlike one the Hoppers frequented. Characteristically, Hopper depicts a moment before or after the main event—here, the meal—takes place. Also typical is the isolation and ambiguous relationship between the figures: it is not clear whether the dining companions are even looking at or conversing with one another.

Although this is clearly a figurative work, Hopper flirts with abstraction. The women are surrounded by a balance of geometric forms: the angular table between them, the layers of rectangles that animate the foreground window, and the blue and yellow patches visible through the far window that suggest shafts of light on the adjacent building.