Monday, August 23, 2010

Alice Neel


Alice Neel is to my mind one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century, so it was a thrill to find a major show of her work on at the Whitechapel Gallery in London (until Sept 17, 2010). I loved the show, every bit of it. Many of the great paintings that I know are there -- Nancy and Olivia, Hartley (her son, arms casually behind head), Meyer Schapiro, Andy Warhol, an Irish trade unionist banging his fist on the table, her nude self-portrait at the age of eighty. All just pure, pure pleasure. Loads of others too that aren't so well known, but will be. The twins dressed in red pinafores is an amazing painting, I can go on looking at it for ages. I'd have bought the book there and then but it's heavy to cart back to Trinidad. At some stage I will get it. There's an award-winning film by Neel's grandson accompanying the show, well worth watching. Overall, I just can't do her justice, so I've collected a set of reviews, each of which adds something to the mix. These are:
Since the show, I'm seeing Alice Neel people everywhere, in the tube, in shops, on the street. It's uncanny and it shows how an artist can change the way people see the world.


Camille King said...

how wonderful! I would have loved to see the exhibition. i .remember when i saw the monets and the picassos and how i loved them more. would have loved to have seen her work too

Mary said...

Thanks Camiile, apologies for long delay, explained today, Jan 12, 2011. A dose of Alice Neel's drawing is for me a great antidote to almost everything.