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(1900 – 1984), USA

Alice Neel Biography

With a practice spanning the 1920s to the 1980s, Alice Neel (1900-1984) is widely regarded as one of the greatest figurative painters of the twentieth century. Based in New York City, Neel chose her subjects from her family, friends, and a broad variety of locals: writers, poets, artists, students, textile salesmen, psychologists, cabaret singers, and homeless bohemians. Her eccentric selection was thus also a portrayal of, and dialogue with, the city in which she lived. Through her forthright and at times humorous touch, her work engaged with ongoing political and social issues, including gender, racial inequality, and labor struggles.

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Neel was born 1900 in Merion Square, Pennsylvania, and died 1984 in New York. From the 1960s onwards, her work was exhibited widely in the United States. She had her first retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1974, and the Whitney mounted another solo exhibition of her work in 2000, which traveled to the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the Denver Art Museum, Colorado. Since 2008, The Estate of Alice Neel has been represented by David Zwirner, where her work was presented in 2009 in a critically acclaimed, two-venue solo exhibition, Alice Neel: Selected Works and Alice Neel: Nudes of the 1930s (on view at Zwirner & Wirth, New York). Alice Neel: Late Portraits & Still Lifes marked the second solo presentation of her work at the gallery, which was on view from May 4 – June 23, 2012.

In 2010, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in Texas organized a major survey, Alice Neel: Painted Truths, which traveled to Whitechapel Gallery, London, and Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden. Her work was recently on view in a solo exhibition in 2011 at the Douglas Hyde Gallery, which formed part of the Dublin Contemporary 2011, Terrible Beauty – Art, Crisis, Change & The Office of Non-Compliance. Work by the artist is represented in major museum collections, including The Art Institute of Chicago; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Tate, London; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; among others.

XR installation view, I See You, Victoria Miro on Vortic, 2 June – 4 July 2020. All works © the Artists.

Alice Neel Featured Artworks

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OLIVIA IN A STRIPED CHAIR by Alice Neel contemporary artwork
Alice NeelOLIVIA IN A STRIPED CHAIR, 1973Oil on paper on board
70.8 x 55.6 cm
Cheim & Read Enquire about this work
Irene by Alice Neel contemporary artwork
Alice NeelIrene, 1947Oil on canvas
55.9 x 43.2 cm
Xavier Hufkens Enquire about this work
Sol Alkaitis by Alice Neel contemporary artwork
Alice NeelSol Alkaitis, 1965Oil on canvas
39 3/4 x 26 5/8 inches
David Zwirner Enquire about this work
Margaret Rose by Alice Neel contemporary artwork
Alice NeelMargaret Rose, 1975Oil on canvas
129.5 x 83.8 cm
Victoria Miro Enquire about this work
Childbirth by Alice Neel contemporary artwork
Alice NeelChildbirth, 1939Oil on canvas
76.2 x 99.1 cm
Victoria Miro Enquire about this work
THE SEA by Alice Neel contemporary artwork
Alice NeelTHE SEA, 1947Oil on canvas
30 x 24 inches
Cheim & Read Enquire about this work
RACHEL ZURER by Alice Neel contemporary artwork
Alice NeelRACHEL ZURER, 1962–1962Oil on canvas
39 x 26 inches
Cheim & Read Enquire about this work
King Asleep by Alice Neel contemporary artwork
Alice NeelKing Asleep, 1954Ink on paper
Variable dimensions
Victoria Miro Enquire about this work

Alice Neel Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, I See You at Victoria Miro, London
Open Now
2 June–4 July 2020 Group Exhibition I See You Victoria Miro, Online Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, On Painting: Art Basel Online at David Zwirner, New York
Closed
20–25 March 2020 Group Exhibition On Painting: Art Basel Online David Zwirner, Online Only
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Winterreise at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
Closed
22 January–29 February 2020 Group Exhibition Winterreise Xavier Hufkens, 6 rue St-Georges, Brussels

Alice Neel Represented By

Alice Neel In Ocula Magazine

ADAA The Art Show 2020 Ocula Photolog ADAA The Art Show 2020

Members of The Art Dealers Association of America (ADAA) joined forces for The Art Show at the end of February (27 February–1 March 2020). The 2020 iteration saw more than half of its presentations dedicated to a single artist and 19 exhibitions focused on female artists, in addition to vibrant thematic and group surveys.

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Armory Week Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Armory Week Lowdown: Shows to See By Sharmistha Ray, New York

The Armory Show opens to the public on 7 March (running to 10 March 2019)—just about a week after the fair relocated a portion of its 194 exhibitors due to structural issues found in Pier 92, forcing its sister fair Volta to cancel its 2019 show so that Armory could occupy its Pier 90 venue. Despite the upheaval, New York 's art week is...

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Alice Neel In Related Press

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Conversations: A Sense of Place: Jeremy Lewison on Alice Neel Related Press Conversations: A Sense of Place: Jeremy Lewison on Alice Neel 14 December 2018, Mousse Magazine

Mousse Magazine: How does Alice Neel in New Jersey and Vermont represent a specific part of Neel's oeuvre? Jeremy Lewison: This exhibition reveals a side of Neel that has not been very visible to date. Many exhibitions have included family portraits, certainly, but this one really gives you a sense of place: where Neel was working and how it...

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Mid-century Harlem through the eyes of Alice Neel Related Press Mid-century Harlem through the eyes of Alice Neel 9 June 2017, Apollo Magazine

In 1938 the Pennsylvania-born artist Alice Neel moved from fashionable Greenwich Village in downtown Manhattan to Spanish Harlem, where she lived for four years in a small apartment before relocating to nearby Upper West Side for two further decades. The downtown crowd did not consider Harlem an appealing area, but Neel didn't seem to mind at all....

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Meet the neighbours: Alice Neel's Harlem portraits Related Press Meet the neighbours: Alice Neel's Harlem portraits 2 May 2017, The Guardian

Alice Neel, born in 1900, and raised in white, middle-class Pennsylvania, moved to Harlem in New York at the age of 38. She was still recovering from the tragedy of her first marriage, which had seen her first daughter die of diphtheria as a baby, and her second daughter abducted and taken to Cuba by her estranged husband. The shock of those...

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Alice Neel at David Zwirner, New York Related Press Alice Neel at David Zwirner, New York 13 April 2017, Frieze

Alice Neel is hard to place, isn't she? The New York-based painter, who died in 1984, lived uptown most of her life, but many of her most famous subjects hailed from downtown coteries. Neel must have been hip to get Andy Warhol to relax his guard for her well-known shirtless portrait of him ( Andy Warhol, 1970): a study in vulnerability, the work...

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Alice Neel In Video & Audio

Alice Neel in New Jersey and Vermont — Jeremy Lewison in conversation with Angela Lampe Related Video & Audio Alice Neel in New Jersey and Vermont — Jeremy Lewison in conversation with Angela Lampe 13 December 2018, Xavier Hufkens

Jeremy Lewison, adviser to the Estate of Alice Neel, talks with Angela Lampe, curator of Modern Art at Centre Pompidou, on the occasion of the exhibition 'Alice Neel in New Jersey and Vermont' (26 October—15 December 2018).

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