Decades of Painter Alice Neel in a Single Sweep


Alice Neel is credited with having kept figurative painting alive through decades when it was considered passé, even crude. Her subjects, rendered in plush, pungent color, are haunted, but full of life; her influence can be seen in recent Elizabeth Peyton retrospectives and Billy Sullivan’s current solo show. Two concurrent shows are presenting decades of her work. At Zwirner & Wirth you’ll find Neel’s elegantly provocative paintings and drawings of nudes from the thirties, when it wasn’t proper for a woman to be thinking about nudity, let alone displaying it in the artist’s ruddy, forceful fashion. David Zwirner has her later work: portraits of politicians, artists, family members, and strangers. See 29 of these pieces in our not-exactly-safe-for-work slideshow.