Bookshelf

• A large-scale retrospective of the paintings and works on paper of Edward Hopper is currently making the rounds of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (where it is up through August 19), Washington’s National Gallery of Art (Sept. 16-Jan. 21, 2008), and the Art Institute of Chicago (Feb. 16-May 11, 2008). Like all Hopper shows, it will be very, very popular. Hopper has long been one of America’s best-loved artists, a painter whose appeal is so broad-based that PBS is actually airing a documentary about his life and work narrated by the comedian-filmmaker Steve Martin—who is, sure enough, a Hopper collector. This popularity has always fascinated me, since Hopper is “accessible” only in the sense that his paintings are unambiguously representational. They are also bleak, private, and unsettling, all to a degree one would scarcely expect in so well-liked an artist.

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Must-Reads from Magazine

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Macron’s Terrorism Idiocy

Hyperbole yields cynicism, not the other way around.

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Trump Quietly Gives Putin What He Wants

Quid pro quo?

Until now, the notion that Donald Trump was providing Russia and Vladimir Putin with concessions at the expense of U.S. interests was poorly supported. That all changed on Wednesday afternoon when the Washington Post revealed that Donald Trump ordered his national security advisor and CIA director to scrap a program that provided covert aid to anti-Assad rebels in Syria.

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