Xavier Hufkens is pleased to announce an online exhibition dedicated to the drawings of Alice Neel. Through their formal immediacy, the works in On Paper testify to the artist's unique ability to convey intimacy through art. The exhibition comprises still lives, memory drawings, and the distinctive portrait style that has cemented Neel's legacy as one of the 20th century's most influential American painters. Neel's drawings are an important key to understanding the oeuvre of one of recent art history's most complex figures.
In 1938, Neel moved to the primarily Hispanic neighbourhood of Spanish Harlem where she would reside for two further decades. She often depicted her neighbours in Harlem and Uptown and was especially drawn to the resident women and their children, interested as ever, in people whose cultures have been marginalised. The identity of Woman (1940) is not known. Neel has given great attention to her subject's updo, using an expressive yet economical line to communicate volume and style. Though loosely rendered, the woman's clothing appears to be typical for a young Latin American woman at that time. The sitter holds a small pile of papers, as if about to recite something.
Press release courtesy Xavier Hufkens.