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15/03/2019

Alice Neel: Freedom at David Zwirner, New York

Alice Neel: Freedom opened at David Zwirner, New York on 28 February. The exhibition looks at Neel's representation of the nude from the early period, when her painting was considered licentious, to her representations of men and women from the sixties onwards that broke new ground. Neel painted what she observed, with close attention and affection, and made the subject of the pregnant nude her own. Rarely painted in the history of art, Neel saw this as an opportunity to reveal the truth about women's bodies and the female experience. Similarly her paintings of the male nude did not shy away from seeing the male body as an object of wonder and beauty. As Helen Molesworth writes in the catalogue to the show, 'Neel's lifelong investigation of the nude resulted in paintings that possess an undeniable charge, which can only sometimes be described as erotic. ... Resolutely unromantic and anti-sentimental, these pictures remain, even in the early decades of the twenty-first century, surprising and sometimes shocking.'

The exhibition presents paintings drawings and watercolours and continues until 13 April and is accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Helen Molesworth and an introduction by Ginny Neel. The catalogue is published by David Zwirner Books.