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Tue April 5 - Sun July 10, 2022

Alice Neel: People Come First

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Alice Neel (1900-1984) was one of the century's most radical painters, a champion of social justice whose longstanding commitment to humanist principles inspired her life as well as her art. This is the first comprehensive West Coast retrospective of Neel's work. The award-winning exhibition includes paintings, drawings, and watercolors, along with additional artworks and media exclusive to the San Francisco presentation.

Neel spent most of her life in New York City, and her work testifies to the diversity, resilience, and passion of the people she encountered there. The exhibition includes depictions of Neel's neighbors in Spanish Harlem, political leaders, queer cultural figures, activists, and mothers, along with a diverse representation of nude figures, including visibly pregnant women. Neel's "pictures of people" embody a rare candor and irreverence. Together they emphasize her belief in the dignity and worth of all individuals, a view that remains critical to the social and cultural politics of our time.


Image Credit: Alice Neel, "Jackie Curtis and Ritta Redd" (detail), 1970. Oil on canvas; framed: 154.3 x 108.9 cm (60 3/4 x 42 7/8 in.); unframed: 152.4 x 106.4 cm (60 x 41 7/8 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2009.345 © The Estate of Alice Neel
Alice Neel (1900-1984) was one of the century's most radical painters, a champion of social justice whose longstanding commitment to humanist principles inspired her life as well as her art. This is the first comprehensive West Coast retrospective of Neel's work. The award-winning exhibition includes paintings, drawings, and watercolors, along with additional artworks and media exclusive to the San Francisco presentation.

Neel spent most of her life in New York City, and her work testifies to the diversity, resilience, and passion of the people she encountered there. The exhibition includes depictions of Neel's neighbors in Spanish Harlem, political leaders, queer cultural figures, activists, and mothers, along with a diverse representation of nude figures, including visibly pregnant women. Neel's "pictures of people" embody a rare candor and irreverence. Together they emphasize her belief in the dignity and worth of all individuals, a view that remains critical to the social and cultural politics of our time.


Image Credit: Alice Neel, "Jackie Curtis and Ritta Redd" (detail), 1970. Oil on canvas; framed: 154.3 x 108.9 cm (60 3/4 x 42 7/8 in.); unframed: 152.4 x 106.4 cm (60 x 41 7/8 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2009.345 © The Estate of Alice Neel
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de Young Museum 186 Upcoming Events
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

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