Alice Neel


‘…a remarkable montage of the artist’s life in a vibrant, multicultural 20th-century New York.’ ***** 5 stars – Time Out New York

‘Als weaves together Neels’ biography with memories and experiences of his own. […] It is catalogue as memoir, and a work of art in its own right.’ – Vogue magazine

One of the foremost American figurative painters of the twentieth century, Alice Neel (1900-1984) is known for her portraits of family, friends, neighbours, and locals as well as writers, poets, and other cultural and political figures. This catalogue features paintings and drawings that the artist made during the five decades she spent living in Upper Manhattan, first in Spanish Harlem and later the Upper West Side in New York City.

Uptown highlights the innate diversity of Neel’s approach. As curator, Hilton Als notes, Neel ‘was attracted to a world of difference and painted that. Still, her work was not marred by ideological concerns; what fascinated her was the breadth of humanity that she encountered in her studio, on canvas… Alice Neel, Uptown, the first comprehensive look at Neel’s portraits of people of colour, is an attempt to honor not only what Neel saw, but the generosity behind her seeing.’

Includes essays by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer/curator, Hilton Als on individual portraits and their sitters, in addition to new scholarship by Jeremy Lewison.

Published by Victoria Miro and David Zwirner Books, on the occasion of the exhibition, Alice Neel: Uptown curated by Hilton Als (at David Zwirner, New York, 23 February – 22 April 2017, and at Victoria Miro, London, 18 May – 29 July 2017).

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