Alice Neel


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American painter, born at Merion Square, Pennsylvania. She studied at Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art), 1921–5, and after living briefly in Cuba, settled in New York in 1927. In the 1930s she worked for the Federal Art Project and painted scenes of urban poverty, but she was principally a portraitist. She was an independent figure, unconcerned with passing fashions, and fame came to her late in life, when her stark, frontal, penetrating images suddenly attracted widespread attention. The most famous example is probably Andy Warhol (1970, Whitney Museum, New York), in which Warhol is seen as a frail rather than a glamorous figure, stripped to the waist exposing the scars left by the assassination attempt on him in 1968.

Further Reading

M. Walters, The Nude Male: A New Perspective (1979)

Subjects: Art.

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