Alice Neel

1900–1984

Alice Neel, ‘Kitty Pearson’ 1973
Kitty Pearson 1973
© The estate of Alice Neel
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Biography

Alice Neel (January 28, 1900 – October 13, 1984) was an American visual artist, who was known for her portraits depicting friends, family, lovers, poets, artists, and strangers. Her paintings have an expressionistic use of line and color, psychological acumen, and emotional intensity. Her work depicts women through a female gaze, illustrating them as being consciously aware of the objectification by men and the demoralizing effects of the male gaze. Her work contradicts and challenges the traditional and objectified nude depictions of women by her male predecessors. Neel was called "one of the greatest portrait artists of the 20th century" by Barry Walker, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, which organized a retrospective of her work in 2010.

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