Alice Neel: Hot Off the Griddle

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Alice Neel: Hot Off the Griddle

Alice Neel: Hot Off the Griddle

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She painted everyone: people of colour, the elderly, the poor, and gay and transgender people, and persevered through a time when figuration was renounced,” artist Amy Sherald said.

Neel, talking in a late documentary at the show’s end, was easily as fascinating and eccentric as any of her sitters. If Neel loved her sitters briefly or for a lifetime, and loved them for their insecurities, imperfections, beauty, and the sheer torment of what it feels like to be adrift in the modern world, then we leave loving them a little too. Philippe Dagen, writing in Le Monde, describes Neel as a “ghost” or “spirit” (perhaps a reference to Robert Mapplethorpe’s 1984 photograph), who was long overdue proper recognition in France: “Neel does not seek to seduce, but to warn about the reality of the time.

Text is set in Rhymes by Maxitype, a contemporary re-examination of the ubiquitous ‘Times’ style that was originally created as a modern update to classical forms – much as Neel was approaching portraiture, a painting style often seen as outdated during her lifetime.

This one has come from the Pompidou in Paris; Neel’s star has only risen in those intervening years. The great depression leads to some overtly political street-scene works, but they’re pretty awful: badly executed and ugly. She still looked for subjects with traumatic stories, even if it meant exclaiming to strangers across the park. He was also, though, a Moscow-man through and through, and it’s fair to say, a devoted Party functionary and not exactly a reflective man.Anarchic humanist figuration was out of step with the art world, though, especially in the post-war years, when Abstract Expressionism dominated. It’s a juxtaposition that verges on glib—Hall in his ushanka, Sprinkle in her leathers—but it speaks to Neel’s keen sense of her own moment as history and her delight in its contradictions and weirdnesses. Neel painted right up to her death and was known to phone friends to exclaim: “Guess what, I’m alive! Neel also had an affair with a heroin-addicted sailor named Kenneth Doolittle, who eventually set 350 of her artworks on fire.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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