Alice Neel: Freedom

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  • One of the foremost American figurative painters of the 20th century, Alice Neel (1900-84) was a humanist--she was fascinated by people.

    Known for her daringly honest portraits, Neel loved to paint people in all their complexities--to penetrate and reveal their fears and anxieties. She also loved to paint the unadorned human figure. Her nudes, in particular, explore the body with frankness while celebrating the individuality of each of her subjects, and they exemplify the freedom and courage with which she approached her work and her life.

    Through her paintings and works on paper, Neel was able to free herself from the expected inhibitions and crippling taboos that were placed on women and focus on the beauty and nuanced complexity of flesh and the human body. In their mastery of form, color, and implied social commentary, her nudes are as relevant today as when they were painted.

    This book documents the solo exhibition of the artist's work at David Zwirner in New York in 2019. Including works that span the 1920s to the 1980s, this presentation focuses primarily on the nude figure--whether male or female, adult or child--and demonstrates how Neel rebelled against and challenged the traditional perceptions of sexuality, motherhood, and beauty in our society. The catalog includes a newly commissioned scholarship by Helen Molesworth and a foreword by Ginny Neel of the Estate of Alice Neel.

    Binding Type: Hardcover
    Author: Alice Neel, Ginny Neel (Introduction by), Helen Molesworth (Contribution by)
    Published: 04/23/2019
    Publisher: David Zwirner Books
    ISBN: 9781941701980
    Pages: 112
    Weight: 2.05lbs
    Size: 11.20h x 9.20w x 0.70d

    About the Author

    Alice Neel was born in 1900 in Merion Square, Pennsylvania, and died in 1984 in New York. With a practice spanning the 1920s to the 1980s, Neel is widely regarded as one of the foremost American figurative painters of the twentieth century. Based in New York, Neel chose her subjects from her family, friends, and a broad variety of locals, and her eccentric selection was thus a portrayal of, and dialogue with, the city in which she lived. Although she showed sporadically early in her career, from the 1960s onwards her work was exhibited widely in the United States. In 1974, she had her first retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

  • 11.2 in L x 9.2 in W x 0.7 in D
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