Sunday, June 22, 2014

Alice Neel

Alice Neel 1900-1984

Yesterday I had a lovely visit, with my good friend and artist, for a cup of tea, two pieces of her rhubarb homemade pie, over our usual conversations about art and creativity. She told me about a women Alice Neel, a wonderful artist, who like my artist friend, was also very involved in doing portraiture as her subject matter, and was very excited to tell me about her.

 My friend and I we often have heart to heart talks about the creative process, why we are artists, what art means to us, and what motivates our choice of subject matter. Having a strong social conscience we agree, it is vital to us as artists, and is very pertinent to the art work we make.

When my friend spoke about Alice Neel, I thought the name sounded vaguely familiar, and I said that I must have learned about her in my Fine Art-Art History class at Mount Allison University, that focused solely on artists who were women. I could not recall, perhaps because she had not been covered in detail, if at all. And so today, I went on the hunt to find out as much as I could about Alice Neel. What I found was very exciting, and moving. Her work as a dedicated artist was compelling, and I am excited to share this with my readers, particularly with other artists, who like me, are not very familiar with Alice Neel. This is what I love to do more than any thing else on this blog, to learn about women, who's art work and life have been overlooked, and whom with the masses are not familiar. My hope is that you enjoy finding out about this remarkable artist, Alice Neel and other inspiring and courageous women like her.

" Obituaries recount her courageous life, her dedication to art, and her struggles against the tide of the art world. William G. Blair of the New York Times calls her (October 14) ‘the quintessential bohemian ... [whose] unconventional and intense representational portraits, many painted in her early years, were neglected, even resented, in official art world circles’ and notes that ‘in the last decades of her life, the honors that had been denied her came her way.’ Stephan Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes (October 16): ‘Steadfast in the pursuit of her own vision and amused by her ability to shock both the art world and the arbiters of American taste, Miss Neel lived a singular life devoted to painting and to the laughing, suffering world around her.’

After looking for photos of Alice Neel's work I came upon this one below that I posted of Art Historian Linda Nochln & Daisy. My visual memory was triggered upon seeing this great painting by Alice Neel, in my Art History class. I was glad to realize, that we did in fact, study Alice Neel.

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