Spanning nearly seven decades, a comprehensive consideration of the psychologically acute and surprisingly honest portraits of Alice Neel
Widely regarded as one of the most important American painters of the 20th century, Alice Neel is internationally recognized for her contributions to Abstract Expressionism, especially her perceptive portraiture. Neel (1900–1984) was a portrait painter at a time when this was traditionally the role of a male artist. After ascending to prominence in the 1960s as the feminist movement gained momentum, she has remained an iconic figure in the history of American painting.
A self-proclaimed “collector of souls,” Neel often painted friends and family, as well as the celebrated artists and writers of her day, such as Andy Warhol, Frank O’Hara, and Meyer Shapiro, delving into personalities and idiosyncrasies with a rare frankness. Alice Neel: Painted Truths brings together paintings that demonstrate Neel’s range and ability, along with insightful commentary from four leading art historians. Although the book focuses on her portraits, it also covers the artist’s early social realist paintings and cityscapes, tracing the evolution of Neel’s style and examining themes that she revisited throughout her career.
Praise For Alice Neel: Painted Truths…
"One of the most interesting aspects of this volume is the inclusion of a series of reflections on voices, testifying to the continued relevance of Neel’s work, renders an already outstanding collection truly superb."—S.L. Hoglund, Choice
"A penetrating look at the portraits. . . . Lavishly illustrated. . . . Will be essential reading for anyone interested in her career. . . . There is plenty here to engage both the eye and the brain. While the paintings still might be unsettling, the materials presented here will go along way to helping us understand them."—Pamela Simpson, Woman's Art Journal
Yale University Press, 9780300163322, 306pp.
Publication Date: April 20, 2010
About the Author
Barry Walker is the curator of modern and contemporary art and prints and drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. As the director of Jeremy Lewison Ltd., Jeremy Lewison is a curator and advisor to the Estate of Alice Neel. Robert Storr is an artist, curator, and critic, as well as the dean of the Yale School of Art. Tamar Garb is the Durning Lawrence Professor in the History of Art at University College London.