Days after seeing “People Come First’’, a career-spanning Alice Neel survey at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, an afterimage of her brisk vision of vibrant humanity still pulses behind my eyes. Even in memory, Neel's paintings never sit still. They squirm, shiver and jiggle. Particularly memorable is her astonishing sequence of tender yet frank, unidealized portraits of pregnant women, women in childbirth and women breastfeeding. Regarded cumulatively, they are one of the signal achievements of modern American art.
The Washington Post, March 25, 2021