Alice Neel talks with charm and wit and utter frankness about her 84 years, most of them lived in New York City, in this exceptional book about one of America's leading painters. Her riveting portraits, wonderful still lifes, and stark interiors, as reproduced in this volume, tell us even more. Never compromising, Neel (1900-1984) steadfastly kept to one goal; to paint people honestly, as she saw them. By painting individuals with all their idiosyncrasies, she also recorded universal constants, thus capturing 'the specific person plus the Zeitgeist (spirit of the age).' Neel's early Depression and WPA paintings are interspersed with flamboyant nudes and portraits of her friends and lovers. Out of her stay in Spanish Harlem emerge Latin American children and the casual acquaintances she met on the streets of her neighborhood. Then, suddenly, there are wonderful, delicate flower paintings in light, cheerful colors. Neel's paintings of prominent figures in the art and business communities are well known. In the pages of this book parade Andy Warhol, Red Grooms, Henry Geldzahler, Marisol, John Gruen, Ellie Poindexter, Isabel Bishop, Raphael and Moses Soyer, Duane Hanson, Virgil Thomson, and Linda Nochlin - plus a scientist, a politician, a poet, a Fuller Brush man, a taxi driver, a sailor, a laborleader, always her family, and many more. We witness the growth and games of her own children and grandchildren - serious, in costume, alone, and in groups. 'Alice Neel's' narrative is spicy and very moving, and it brings to life an arresting collection of people, with failings, delights, feelings, and aspirations.
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Foreword by William D Paul Jr
the Work the Words the Woman
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Alice Neel American Art and/or family opposite Art Gallery art world artist and/or family Arts and Letters baby Bullowa Carlos Carlos Enriquez Cindy Nemser Collection Arthur Collection the artist Colwyn Communist Cuba everything Frank O'Hara gave Georgia Museum girl Goya Graham Gallery Hartley hate Havana hed say human important included Isabetta Jackie Curtis Jean Jadot Joe Gould John Rothschild Jose Kallikak Kenneth Doolittle Kenneth Fearing Linda Nochlin lived look Max White mother Museum of American Museum of Art Nadya Nancy Neel's paintings never night Nona nude Oil on canvas Olivia painter Pennsylvania Philadelphia picture portrait pose Pregnant Puerto Rican Richard Robert Smithson School of Design solo exhibition Spanish Harlem Spring Lake studio suicidal ward things thought told took Unik Walter Gutman wanted watercolors West 17th Street Whalen Whitney Museum woman women wonderful York City