Saturday, November 12, 2011

Alice Neel: Family. Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin 

Born in Pennsylvania in 1900 Alice Neel studied art at night while working in the civil service. After three years of night school she enrolled full time in the Philadelphia School of Design for Women.

Alice Neel endured many personal and economic hardships throughout her life. In 1931 following the breakup of her marriage, Neel suffered a nervous breakdown and after an attempted suicide spent a year in Philadelphia General Hospital. She returned once more to New York where she painted many of the artists, writers and political activists of the Communist Party with whom she associated.

Neel continually eschewed the avant-garde and concentrated instead on developing her own figurative style. As a result during the 1940’s and 50’s her work virtually disappeared from mainstream galleries. It was only in the 1960’s that Neel’s work began to gain notice thanks mostly to her work for the Women’s Movement.

Throughout her career Alice Neel’s subjects included friends, neighbours and immediate family. Neel’s realistic style is said to reflect the hardships of life and the reality of American urban living.

An exhibition of her work entitled Alice Neel: Family is showing in the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin until November 16th.

My Mother

Nancy and the twins



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