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 observer of life, and in addition to her penetrating studies of people, she focused her attention on her surroundings, be it in the form of still life, landscape or impromptu vignette. Within the domestic habitat of her family, animals-especially cats and dogs-were a part of her daily life. As a result, over the course of her career from the 1930s until her death in 1984, we find fascinating examples of works that include or focus on particular animals. This exhibition features a group of paintings and drawings in which Neel captures the character and spirit of people and of animals.
In her animal portrayals as in her other work, Neel responded directly to what was in front of her. With all her subjects, human and animal, Neel had a talent for identifying particular gestures and mannerisms that reveal the singular and unique identities of her sitters.