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Nude Self Portrait of Alice Neel, 1980
Andy Warhol, by Alice Neel

Portrait of Andy Warhol
by Alice Neel, 1970 (detail)

Notes from
SEEING OURSELVES: WOMEN'S SELF PORTRAITS
by Frances Borzello (1998)

"Nude Self Portrait, 1980: The eight-year old artist turns her clear eye on herself in a self-image unprecedented in the twentieth century. The grandmotherly persona is balanced by the young colours, the alert pose and the self-confidence in painting herself life size. This is a manifesto self-portrait embodying Neel's belief that nudity brings the viewer closer to the subject."

Notes from WIKIPEDIA

"Alice Neel (January 28, 1900 – October 13, 1984) was an American artist known for her oil on canvas portraits of friends, family, lovers, poets, artists and strangers. Her paintings are notable for their expressionistic use of line and color, psychological acumen, and emotional intensity.[...]

"Toward the end of the 1960s, interest in Neel’s work intensified. The momentum of the Women’s Movement led to increased attention, and Neel became an icon for Feminists. In 1970 Neel was commissioned to paint Feminist activist Kate Millett for the cover of Time magazine. In 1974, Neel's work was given a retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and posthumously, in the summer of 2000, also at the Whitney.

"By the mid-1970s, Neel had gained celebrity and stature as an important American artist. In 1979, President Jimmy Carter presented her with a National Women’s Caucus for Art award for outstanding achievement. Neel’s reputation was at its height at the time of her death in 1984.

"Neel's life and works are featured in the documentary "Alice Neel," which premiered at the 2007 Slamdance Film Festival and was directed by her grandson, Andrew Neel. The film was given a New York theatrical release in April of that year.

"Alice Neel was to be the subject of the upcoming retrospective 'Alice Neel: Painted Truths' organized by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, and on view March 21-June 15, 2010. The exhibition will travel to Whitechapel Gallery, London and Moderna Museet Malmö, Malmö, Sweden.

"The Estate of Alice Neel is represented by David Zwirner, New York, Victoria Miro Gallery, London and Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin, and is advised by Jeremy Lewison Ltd.


earlywomenmasters.net | Women Artists at the Easel 1540-1980