United States artist Alice Neel

Alice Neel, 1980 self-portrait

From British daily The Morning Star:

Against the grain

(Tuesday 05 June 2007)

Victoria Miro Gallery, London N1

CHRISTINE LINDEY introduces us to the work of progressive US artist Alice Neel, who painted vibrant portraits with soul.

If a painter was a progressive bohemian who opposed the dominant aesthetic, had many lovers and several children with different partners, some illegitimate, his disregard for social and aesthetic norms would probably be viewed indulgently.

But what if this was in straight-laced US in the 1930s-50s and the painter was a woman and a communist?

Born to a clerk and a housewife, Alice Neel (1900-1984) defied the social conventions of her small town US upbringing.

In doing so, she suffered professional obscurity, social disapproval and financial penury for over three decades.

Rearing her two surviving children mostly by herself, on welfare in a cramped flat, she still managed to continue painting.

Apart from the odd small exhibition in left-wing venues, wider recognition in the US began only in the mid-1960s, partly due to the feminist movement.

US artist Leonard Baskin: here.

African American art sold: here.

3 thoughts on “United States artist Alice Neel

  1. Pingback: British artist LS Lowry | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: United States 1930s paintings exhibition in London | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: American art historian Linda Nochlin, RIP | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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