Erik Hoppe (1896-1968): A Girl on a Lawn, 1944
The Copenhagen park Søndermarken was a recurring motif in Erik Hoppe’s paintings throughout more than 40 years. This picture shows that the specific topography was not the most important feature for the artist.
The park as a laboratory of colour
Rather, the park served as a kind of laboratory of colour where he studied tints, light, shade, and reflected sunlight, immersing himself in the task of transferring the colours of nature to paint on the canvas. Dark-hued greens and browns have been applied with a spatula and broad brushstrokes, and exact individual indications of bright yellow and purple represent the flickering sunlight, lighting up
the murky, green space.
The depiction of an ordinary human being
A woman in a blue dress reclines on the lawn. Hoppe depicts an ordinary human being to whom the park has become the framework of a modern, democratic leisure life under the life-giving rays of the sun.
One of a kind
Erik Hoppe cannot be placed within any definite school, movement, or ism. During the years around 1930 he and his friends Jens Søndergaard and Niels Lergaard were the key exponents of the so-called “dark” painting, but Hoppe continued his work on the basis of his personal belief that colour was the very point of painting, and his works represent a separate branch of Danish Modernist art.