New York City - David Zwirner is pleased to announce that the gallery now represents the Estate of Alice Neel. Alice Neel (1900-1984) is widely regarded as one of the most important American painters of the twentieth century. As the American avant-garde of the 1940s and 50s renounced figuration, Neel reaffirmed her signature approach to the human body. Working from life and memory, Neel created daringly honest portraits of her family and friends, downtrodden neighbors and public figures, art-world colleagues and poets, lovers and the occasional stranger.
Her choice of subjects was a reflection of her personal life and an expression of the political and social milieu in which she lived, rather than an intentional program. Through her choice of subjects, her work can be seen to have engaged with issues related to gender and racial inequality, labor struggles, and violence; at the same time her reexamination of the human body paralleled the cultural upheaval of the sexual revolution and women’s movement. Calling herself a "collector of souls," Neel is acclaimed for not only capturing the truth of the individual, but also reflecting the era in which she lived. Neel challenged the Western artistic tradition that regarded sitter or muse as a woman’s place in the arts. Through her five-decade exploration of women, Neel redefined the relationship in painting to the nude, the pregnant woman, the roles of mother and child.
In 2010, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, Texas will mount an expansive survey of Neel’s work (March 21 - June 13, 2010). Co-curated by Jeremy Lewison, freelance curator and Advisor to the Estate of Alice Neel, and Barry Walker, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the exhibition will travel to Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, England (July 9 - September 19, 2010), and Moderna Museet, Malmö, Sweden (October 10, 2010 - January 2, 2011), for the first retrospective of Neel’s work shown in Europe. The catalogue will include essays by Professor Tamar Garb, Professor Robert Storr, Jeremy Lewison, and Barry Walker.
Neel is currently the focus of Collector of Souls, a solo exhibition at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden until December 7th. Additionally, the Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (where Neel was a student) is hosting an exhibition of her works on paper, titled Alice Neel: Drawing from Life, until December 6th. Her work is included in the traveling group exhibition, Paint Made Flesh, at Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, Tennessee (January 23 - May 10, 2009); The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. (June 20 - September 13, 2009); and Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York (October 24, 2009 - January 3, 2010).
Although she showed sporadically early in her career, from the 1960s onwards her work was exhibited widely in the USA. Neel was honored with her first retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1974. The Whitney again mounted a solo exhibition of the artist’s work in 2000 after her death. That exhibition, titled The Art of Alice Neel, traveled to the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado.
In 2002, Rizzoli published a monograph focusing solely on Neel’s remarkable portraits of women with an essay by Carolyn Carr. A documentary film about the artist, directed by her grandson Andrew Neel, was released by SeeThink Productions in 2007.
Her work can be found in the collections of Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Tate Modern, London, England; among many others.
With galleries in Chelsea and on the Upper East Side in New York, David Zwirner represents close to forty artists and estates, including the painters Neo Rauch, Marlene Dumas, Luc Tuymans, and Lisa Yuskavage, and the Estates of Gordon-Matta Clark, Fred Sandback, and Al Taylor. 2008 marks Zwirner’s fifteenth year as a dealer.
In addition to David Zwirner, the Estate of Alice Neel is represented by Victoria Miro Gallery, London and Galerie Aurel Scheibler, Berlin. The Estate of Alice Neel is advised by Jeremy Lewison Ltd.
Please visit the recently launched website: www.aliceneel.com For more information, contact Julia Joern at
David Zwirner -
525 West 19th Street New York NY 10011 - Tel 212 727 2070 Fax 212 727 2072 - www.davidzwirner.com