Hotel Room powerfully expresses Hopper’s interest in solitude. In this painting of ambitious scale, a masterful geometric simplicity achieves monumentality. The spare vertical and diagonal bands of color and sharp electric shadows present a concise and intense drama in the night. The tall, slender, pensive woman sits on a bed, her head cast downward as she considers a piece of yellow paper in her hand.
According to Jo’s record, the paper is a timetable that the woman has just consulted. Whatever she has learned seems to have upset her, as the clothing strewn about the room suggests. Combining poignant subject matter with such a powerful formal arrangement, Hopper produced a composition of strength and refinement – simple enough to appeal to an abstract sensibility – yet layered with meaning for the sensitive observer. This was the first of several paintings Hopper set in hotel bedrooms and lobbies, all suggesting the disorienting experience of life away from home.