Alice Neel, Uptown

Alice Neel, Uptown

By Hilton Als and Alice Neel

$74.99
Size 8.5" x 0.8" x 10"

Description

Known for her portraits of family, friends, writers, poets, artists, students, singers, salesmen, activists and more, Alice Neel (1900–84) created forthright, intimate and, at times, humorous paintings that quietly engaged with political and social issues. In Alice Neel, Uptown, writer and curator Hilton Als brings together a body of paintings and works on paper of African Americans, Latinos, Asians and other people of color for the first time.

Highlighting the innate diversity of Neel’s approach, the selection looks at those often left out of the art-historical canon and how this extraordinary painter captured them; “what fascinated her was the breadth of humanity that she encountered,” Als writes.

The publication explores Neel’s interest in the diversity of uptown New York and the variety of people among whom she lived. This group of portraits includes well-known figures such as playwright, actress and author Alice Childress, the sociologist Horace R. Cayton, Jr., the community activist Mercedes Arroyo; and the widely published academic Harold Cruse, alongside more anonymous individuals of a nurse, a ballet dancer, a taxi driver, a businessman and a local boy who ran errands for Neel.

In short and illuminating texts on specific works written in his characteristic narrative style, Als writes about the history of each sitter and offers insights into Neel and her work, while adding his own perspective. A contemporary and personal approach to the artist’s oeuvre, Als’ project is “an attempt to honor not only what Neel saw, but the generosity of her seeing."
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About the Author

Hilton Als is a writer with focus in theater criticism. He became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1994, a theater critic in 2002, and chief theater critic in 2013. His most recent book, White Girls (2013), discusses various narratives around race, identity, gender and sexuality, and was nominated for a 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism.

Alice Neel was born in 1900 in Merion Square, Pennsylvania, and died in 1984 in New York. With a practice spanning from the 1920s to the 1980s, Neel is widely regarded as one of the foremost American painters of the twentieth century. Based in New York, Neel selected her sitters from among her family members, friends, neighbors, and a variety of New Yorkers, and her eccentric portraits are thus a portrayal of, and dialogue with, the city in which she lived. Although she showed sporadically early in her career, from the 1960s onward her work was exhibited widely in the United States. In 1974, she had her first retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

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  • Width: 8.5”
  • Height: 10”

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