Spanning a century from the introduction of electric light to the dawn of the Space Age, this first major survey of American night scenes by artists such as Winslow Homer, Georgia O’Keeffe, Andrew Wyeth, and Joseph Cornell proposes the central importance of nocturnal images in the development of modern art. This gorgeously illustrated book investigates how leading American artists of diverse aesthetic convictions responded in a range of media—including paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs—to the unique challenges of picturing the night. Retooling their palette and reconsidering their techniques, artists cherished the night as a time of heightened alertness and active imagination. Mysterious and provocative, the darkness was experienced as liberating, both on an aesthetic and personal level—allowing artists to become invisible, turn inward, and express personal truths in unique and poetic ways. Night Vision expands the conversation on American art and the rise of modernism, as it demonstrates how the theme of the night inspired artists who sought to leave behind established styles and traditions to better reflect the broader societal and technological shifts as well as a new understanding of the value of art as personal expression.
“This book, with more than 100 illustrations, showcases night scenes by artists such as Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Andrew Wyeth, and Georgia O’Keeffe . . . The images range from realist to abstract, from urban portraits of the night to ominous, crepuscular, and often voyeuristic nocturnes in a wide variety of mediums . . . Bolstered by reflective essays, Night Vision is a survey of modernism and of personal expression, illuminating the powerful, lasting impact night vision had on American art.” —Boston Globe