Alice Neel People Come First Kelly Baum, Randall Griffey, Meredith A. Brown, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Susanna V. Temkin

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
23 Feb 2021
ISBN:
9781588397256
Imprint:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dimensions:
256 pages: 292 x 203mm
Illustrations:
200 color illus.

Alice Neel’s (1900–1984) uncompromising artistic vision and deep engagement with humanity in both art and politics have earned her legions of admirers. This beautifully designed and illustrated book surveys the artist’s nearly 70-year career, focusing on her long residency in New York, a place that provided her with lifelong inspiration. In addition to her compelling portraits of individuals of all ages, both famous and unknown, Alice Neel: People Come First also explores her remarkable nudes, still lifes, cityscapes, and erotic pastels and watercolors—all considered through the lens of radical humanism that informed so much of the artist’s work. Leading scholars delve into various aspects of Neel’s practice, revealing that humanism was both a political and philosophical ideal for the artist. The authors address Neel’s paintings of LGBTQ subjects; her unique aesthetic language, which merged elements of abstraction and figuration; and her commitment to progressive politics, civil rights, feminism, and racial diversity. The book’s essays also explore Neel’s highly personal preoccupations with death, illness, and motherhood while reasserting her place in the broader cultural history of the 20th century.

Kelly Baum is Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art, and Randall Griffey is curator of modern and contemporary art, both at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
(March 15–August 1, 2021)
 
Guggenheim, Bilbao
(September 17, 2021–January 30, 2022)
 
de Young Museum, San Francisco
(March 12–July 10, 2022)