The Eclectic Lives BehindAlice Neel’s Portraits


My introduction to the painter Alice Neel was a display print that held on the lounge wall of my grandparents’ residence in Woodstock, N.Y. — a provocative portrait of Neel’s pouting granddaughter lounging on a striped chair. That portrait then moved inside my household, to Minneapolis, San Francisco and, lastly, to my house on the Upper West Side of Manhattan — down the road from the place Neel painted and lived —  the place it now hangs on my wall.

I found final weekend, after I noticed Neel’s gorgeous retrospective on the Metropolitan Museum of Art, that the identical striped chair has appeared in a lot of her work. The many portraits within the exhibition, “Alice Neel: People Come First,” have been of Neel’s associates and lovers, or of well-known artists, activists, critics, students — together with many radicals my grandmother admired, amongst them Mike Gold, an writer and activist, and Linda Nochlin, a celebrated feminist artwork historian.

I turned interested in Neel’s topics and realized about their lives from their obituaries in The New York Times. Below is a sampling.

Jackie Curtis was a playwright, director and performer who acted in Andy Warhol movies like “Bad” (1977), a comedy a few hairdresser who runs an electrolysis parlor in her residence, and the 1971 satire “Women in Revolt.” He additionally wrote screenplays for Warhol, together with “Flesh” (1968), a few hustler engaged on the streets of New York City.

He started to jot down performs within the late 1960s, and infrequently took the lead feminine function in them.

Read his obituary here.

Andy Warhol’s paintings and prints of presidents, movie stars and soup cans made him one of the most famous artists in the world.

Neel’s portrait of him, “nude from the waist up, revealing his scars and the surgical corset he wore after he was shot by Valerie Solanas,” as Phoebe Hoban wrote in the introduction to “Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty” (2010), demonstrates the collaborative exchange Neel had with her subjects.

Geoffrey Hendricks and Bici Forbes had been married for years and had two children when they faced up to a conundrum.

Michael Gold, Neel’s friend, lover and mentor, was the author of the novel “Jews Without Money” and other works of social protest. He was a columnist for the Communist newspaper The Daily Worker and a founding editor of New Masses, a copy of which is visible on the bottom left of Neel’s portrait. The title of Neel’s retrospective at the Met comes from a 1950 article about her that Gold wrote for The Daily Worker.



Source link Nytimes.com

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