By Pamela Allara
During this brilliant chronicle of the lifestyles and paintings of the prolific painter and bohemian eccentric Alice Neel, whose profession spanned the a long time from the Nineteen Twenties to the Seventies, Pamela Allara highlights photographs that represent a digital gallery of yank cultural background. whereas a few of Neel’s pictures graced the covers of courses like Ms. and Time, so much of her matters have been unknowns—the marginalized, the disenfranchised, the oppressed. Neel, inspired by means of left-wing politics and modernism, did greater than infuse portraiture with a brand new power and relevance. by way of recording the visages of her sitters, she rescued them for historical past and rendered them witnesses to their time.
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Additional resources for Pictures of People: Alice Neel's American Portrait Gallery
Neel's defense was equivocal: rather than attempting to argue that she was transforming the tradition of realist and expressionist portraiture within modernism, she simply defended the portrait as a legitimate subject in a period that nominally granted the artist complete freedom of choice. "I think that you can make just as great a painting of a person as you can of anything else ... "6 This statement was published in an interview Gerrit Henry conducted in 1975 with ten contemporary artists working primarily in portraiture: Elaine de Kooning, George Segal, Alex Katz, Philip Pavia, Alfred Leslie, George Schneeman, Sylvia Sleigh, Hedda Sterne, Chuck Close, and Neel.
Alice Neel, Alienation 233 Fig. 151. Raphael Soyer, Nude 234 Fig. 152. Alice Neel, Pregnant Maria 235 Fig. 153. Alice Neel, Blanche Angel Pregnant 235 Fig. 154. Cover, Ms. magazine, 1972 236 Fig. 155. Alice Neel, Pregnant Woman 237 Fig. 156. Alice Neel, Margaret Evans Pregnant 239 Fig. 157. Edvard Munch, Puberty 242 Fig. 158. Alice Neel, Hartley 245 Fig. 159. Alice Neel, Drafted Negro 245 Fig. 160. Alice Neel, Thanksgiving 246 Fig. 161. Alice Neel, Dead Father 247 Fig. 162. Alice Neel, The Sea 248 Fig.
In the manner of any good storyteller, Neel has created a parable to Page 4 explain her choice of an artistic vocation and to justify the direction it would take. Like many American women artists, Alice Neel (1900-1984) painted in relative obscurity for many years before achieving artistic prominence in the 1970s. During that time, she began to compensate for the years of artistic neglect by crisscrossing the United States to deliver slide lectures on her work. A witty and intelligent woman, Neel developed an enthusiastic following, each lecture spawning new invitations.