Hôtel de France, 1928
Hôtel de France is the first painting Stuart Davis completed during a 14-month stay in Paris beginning in 1928. The bright palette, jaunty composition and picturesque street scene convey the American artist's delight in the city's unique sights, particularly in the area of Montparnasse, where he settled. Vertically oriented, the composition calls particular attention to the white hotel façade, red pissotière (public urinal), green advertising kiosk and black lamppost. Signs of the influence of French Cubism are evident in the interplay between two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional space as well as in the inclusion of prominent textured forms. The visual rhythms of Davis' work approximate the syncopation of American jazz, which enjoyed international popularity for its rebellious and youthful spirit.