Alice Neel

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About the Artist

Intimate, casual, direct and personal, Alice Neel's paintings exist as an unparalleled chronicle of New York personalities – both famous and unknown. Born near Philadelphia in 1900, Alice Neel was one of the foremost American figurative painters and one of the most engaging painters of her times. A painter of portraits, cityscapes, landscapes and still life she was a woman with a strong social conscience and equally strong left-wing beliefs. These led her to move from the comfort of Greenwich Village to Spanish Harlem in 1938 in pursuit of 'the truth' and there she painted casual acquaintances and people she encountered on the street among the immigrant community. Her engagement with the art world came in the form of a series of dynamic paintings of artists and curators many of which are now in major museum collections throughout the world. In 1974 she presented a retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, an event that was repeated in 2000, marking the centenary of her birth.

  • A trailer of the film Alice Neel, directed by Andrew Neel, SeeThink Films, 2007

     

    In 2007 Andrew Neel, Alice Neel's grandson, directed a documentary about Alice Neel's life. It explores her struggles as an artist and a single mother from the Depression era until her death in 1984. The film includes interviews with her sons, Richard and Hartley Neel, the children of her deceased daughter, Isabetta, artists Marlene Dumas, Chuck Close and Alex Katz, art historians Robert Storr and Jeremy Lewison, and Neel's surviving friends. It also includes footage from Michel Auder's earlier film about Neel. The film has recently been presented by the BBC as part of its Imagine… strand and is available to view on iplayer for a limited time.

  • Previous exhibitions at Victoria Miro

    12 February - 27 March 2022

    Unmasked

    An exhibition in Venice of works by Milton Avery, Jules de Balincourt, Hernan Bas, María Berrío, Chantal Joffe, Doron Langberg, Alice Neel and Celia Paul.

    Victoria Miro Venice
    15 July - 16 September 2017

    Alice Neel, Uptown

    A new chapter of the acclaimed exhibition Alice Neel, Uptown, curated by the Pulitzer Prize winning critic and author Hilton Als, is on display at Victoria Miro Venice. Curated by Als especially for the Venice gallery and including a number...
    Victoria Miro Venice
    18 May - 29 July 2017

    Alice Neel, Uptown

    Curated by the celebrated US critic and author Hilton Als, Alice Neel, Uptown focuses on paintings made by the artist during the five decades in which she lived and worked in upper Manhattan, first in Spanish (East) Harlem, where she...
    Victoria Miro Gallery I
    25 January - 18 March 2017

    House Work

    Including Mamma Andersson, Jules de Balincourt, Hernan Bas, Marc Chagall, Peter Doig, Adrian Ghenie, David Harrison, Karen Kilimnik, John Kørner, LS Lowry, Alice Neel, Celia Paul, Grayson Perry, Tal R, David Rayson, George Shaw and Cy Twombly. A group exhibition...
    Victoria Miro Mayfair
    23 September - 5 November 2016

    Protest

    Doug Aitken, Jules de Balincourt, Vlassis Caniaris, Elmgreen & Dragset, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Christian Holstad, Isaac Julien, Yayoi Kusama, Wangechi Mutu, Alice Neel, Chris Ofili, Richard Prince, Sarah Sze, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Kara Walker Historical and...
    Victoria Miro Gallery I
    13 October - 14 November 2015

    Forces in Nature

    Curated by Hilton Als
    A group exhibition curated by the celebrated US critic and author Hilton Als. The exhibition explores the idea of man in nature and includes works by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Verne Dawson, Peter Doig, NS Harsha, Alice Neel, Chris Ofili, Celia...
    Victoria Miro Gallery II
    14 October - 19 December 2014

    Alice Neel: My Animals and Other Family

    The first solo exhibition of the artist's work at the Mayfair gallery. One of the foremost and most engaging twentieth century American portraitists, Neel produced a body of work that is intimate, casual, personal and direct. Neel was a keen...
    Victoria Miro Mayfair
    8 June - 29 July 2011

    Alice Neel

    Men Only (Organised in association with Jeremy Lewison Ltd)
    The eleven portraits in Men Only show a variety of attitudes, from the erotic to the ironic, in an exhibition that looks at Neel's particular relationship to her male subjects. Amongst the works included are Neel's third and final portrait...
    Victoria Miro Gallery II
    22 June - 30 July 2010

    In the Company of Alice

    Group Exhibition
    'If you do not solve your painting problem in painting human beings, you do not solve it at all'. Gertrude Stein Hernan Bas, John Currin, Verne Dawson, Peter Doig, Marlene Dumas, David Harrison, NS Harsha, Boscoe Holder, Chantal Joffe, Karen...
    Victoria Miro Gallery I
    18 April - 14 May 2009

    Alice Neel

    Works on Paper
    Victoria Miro is pleased to present the first exhibition of works on paper in the UK by the acclaimed figurative painter Alice Neel (1900-1984). Renowned for her portraits of friends, family, acquaintances, fellow artists and critics, Neel was among the...
    Victoria Miro Gallery I
    23 May - 21 July 2007

    Alice Neel

    The Cycle of Life
    Alice Neel (1900 - 1984) was the foremost American portraitist and one of the most engaging painters of her times. Her exhibition includes paintings from the 1940s to the 1980s and will show subjects ranging from infancy to old age....
    Victoria Miro Gallery I
    1 June - 31 July 2004

    Alice Neel

    A Chronicle of New York 1950 - 1976
    Intimate, casual, direct and personal, Alice Neel's portraits are a chronicle of New York types. From her foundations as an artist of social commitment engaged in the government-sponsored Public Works of Art Project and Works Progress Administration Easel Division in...
    Victoria Miro Gallery II
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