Anna McNay

Review of Alice Neel, Uptown at Victoria Miro


Alice Neel, Uptown

Curated by Hilton Als

Victoria Miro, London

18 May – 29 July 2017

“No matter what adventure we have,
man is the catalyst … Man is everything.” For Alice Neel (1900-84), born at the
start of the new century, her conviction and dedication to analysing and
capturing the essence of the individual in a figurative style endured throughout
an era of proliferating abstraction. Despite regularly mixing with avant-garde writers
and activists, and sharing their political ideas, she didn’t adopt their
styles. She ignored the critic Clement Greenberg’s comment that figurative
painting was dead and radically proved him wrong, becoming the first living
American artist to have a major retrospective in Moscow in 1981.

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