Ormal Analysis of Stuart Davis, American, 1892-1964 HA?tel de France, 1928 Painting

Analyze ONE work of art that you have not written about before from The Kemper, the Nelson Atkins, the Nerman, or the Spencer.

An analysis is a separating into parts to understand the whole. Meaning in an artwork can be found in the formal language of the work. This is not about the history, context or content a do not include these things in the final paper. The paper will show how the construction of the work illustrates the artistsa intentions.

1. Consider the abstraction process we did in class.
Where do you rest?
What moves?
What is implied?

2. Ask questions in front of the work.
What is my first response?
What and where was the work made?
Where would the work have been originally seen?
What purpose did the work serve?
What is the work? (drawing, painting, sculpture?)
What is the mediumwhat do you know about the medium?
What specifically is the work? (portrait, landscape, still life?)

3. Write answers.
Make a list of each element and principleand describe what you see based on each.

4. Write / respond.

5. Edit notes and writing a discover a THESIS.

6. PEER REVIEW AT THIS TIME

7. Rewrite based on the THESIS. Support that thesis.

8. Write a strong conclusion.

9. The final edited version of this should be 2 to 3 type written pages, 500 to 750 words. 1.5 spaced, 10 to 12 Times, Times New Roman, or Ariel font.

**Answer as many of these questions as are applicable.


1. What is my first response?

2. What and where was the work made?

3. Where would the work have been originally seen?

4. What purpose did the work serve?

5. What is the work? (drawing, painting, sculpture?)

6. What is the mediumwhat do you know about the medium?

7. What specifically is the work? (portrait, landscape, still life?)

8. What is the subject matter?

9. What if anything is happening?

10. If the picture is a portrait, how much of the figure is shown, how much of the available space does it occupy?

11. What effects are gained by the arrangement of the figures?

12. What do the clothes, furnishings, background, angle of the head or posture of the head and body (as well as the facial expression) contribute to our sense of the character (intense, cool, inviting) of the person portrayed?

13. Is there a strong sense of social class, or a strong sense of an independent inner life?

14. Is the view frontal, three-quarter, or profile?

15. Is the figure related to the viewer perhaps by glance or gesture?

16. If frontal, does the face seem to face us in a godlike way, seeing all?

17. If three quarter, does it suggest motion?

18. If the figure is a double portrait, does the artist reveal what it is that ties the two figures together?

19. It is sometimes said that every portrait is a self-portrait; does this portrait reveal the artist in some way?

20. If the picture is a still life, does it suggest opulence, or humble domesticity and the benefits of moderation?

21. Does it imply transience, perhaps by a clock or burnt out candle, or even by the perishable nature of the objects (food or flowers) displayed?

22. In a landscape, what is the relation between human beings and nature?

23. Are the figures at ease in nature, or are they dwarfed by it?

24. Are they earthbound, beneath the horizon, or do they stand out against the horizon and perhaps seem in touch with the heavens?

25. What is the landscape, is it threatening or is it inviting?

26. What exactly makes it threatening or inviting?

27. Is the image of a vulnerable place or is it a refuge?

28. What specifically makes the image vulnerable or a refuge?

29. Are the contour lines (outlines of shapes) strong and hard, or are they irregular, indistinct, fusing the objects or figures with the surrounding space?

30. What does the medium contribute?

31. Is the color (if any) imitative of appearances, or expressive, or both?

32. What is the effect of light in the picture? Does it produce sharp contrasts, brightly illuminating some parts and throwing others into darkness, or does it, by means of gentle gradations, unify most or all of the parts?

33. Does the light seem theatrical or natural, disturbing or comforting

34. What is the focus of the composition? Is the composition symmetrical (and perhaps therefore monumental, or quiet, or ridged and oppressive)? Is it diagonal and therefore dramatic or even melodramatic?

35. Does the artist convey depth? If so how? If not, why not? (pg 26 of Analysis)

36. What is the effect of the size and shape of the work?

37. What is the scale of the image?

38. Does the image capture a a?decisive momenta?? The term alludes not only to action at its peak but also to the moment when all elements in the composition come together to reveal a formal beauty.



*****The Painting that I chose to formal analyze on:
Stuart Davis, American, 1892-1964 HA?tel de France, 1928 from the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

Oil on canvas
Unframed: 28 7/8 x 23 7/8 inches (73.34 x 60.64 cm)

Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust and Nelson Gallery Foundation through the exchange of bequests of Inez Grant Parker; Content Aline Johnson in memory of her mother, Augusta Adelaide Johnson; Thomas Hart Benton; Katherine Harvey; Frances M. Logan; and Mrs. Nell H. Stevenson from the estate of S. Herbert Hare; and gifts of Claudine Hancock Boyle in memory of her husband, Murat Boyle; Mr. and Mrs. Perry Faeth; Mr. and Mrs. Albert R. Jones; Mrs. Peter T. Bohan; and Mrs. David M. Lighton through the Friends of Art; and another Trust property, 96-21

Art A© Estate of Stuart Davis/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Location: Gallery 219

HA?tel 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 artistas delight in the cityas unique sites, particularly in the area of Montparnasse, where he settled. Vertically oriented, the composition calls particular attention to the white hotel faA§ade, red pissotiA?re (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 Davisa work approximate the syncopation of American jazz, which enjoyed international popularity for its rebellious and youthful spirit.