Automat (1927) by Edward Hopper
Read it and weep. Pure emotion on a canvas. A lone woman sitting in an Automat at night staring at a cup of coffee. A solitary moment caught in time. One word: Isolation. She could be anyone, nicely dressed, not a vagrant. Its winter. She wears a coat. Its cold. She wears a glove. But she doesn't even bother to take off her left glove much less her coat. She's too tired, or too cold to remove them. Or is she in hurry? I say no, she's there to get warm or for reflection. She's had something to eat too. An empty plate adds to the emptiness. There is no reflection in the window except for the glare of an avenue of lights, not even her own. More isolation, a tunnel-like effect. She is reflecting inward. She is beautiful, eyes downcast, looking inward. Beautiful legs, the brightest spot on the canvas, providing a voyeur effect. Where has she just been? Or where is she going?
A beautiful description of what we sometimes feel, alone in a public place.
The painting is today owned by the Des Moines Art Center in Iowa.