On view at David Zwirner’s 537 West 20th Street gallery in New York from February 26 through April 13, 2019, Alice Neel: Freedom will include a selection of paintings and significant works on paper by Alice Neel (1900–1984). With a range of works spanning her career, this exhibition focuses primarily on Neel's portrayal of the nude figure and the ways in which the artist resolutely challenged traditional perceptions of sexuality, motherhood, and beauty.
One of the foremost American figurative painters of the twentieth century, Neel was a humanist—she was fascinated by people. She loved to paint them in all their complexities—to penetrate and reveal their fears and anxieties, their defiance and survival. She also loved to paint the unadorned human figure. Her nudes explore the body with frankness while celebrating the individuality of each of her subjects, and they exemplify the freedom and courage with which she approached her work and her life. In their mastery of form, color, and implied social commentary, her nudes are as relevant today as when they were painted.
Organized by Ginny Neel of The Estate of Alice Neel, the exhibition will comprise significant loans from museum and private collections. It will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue that will include newly commissioned scholarship by Helen Molesworth, an introduction by Ginny Neel, and a contribution by Marlene Dumas.