From the David Zwirner Gallery
Alice Neel, Uptown explores Neel’s interest in the extraordinary diversity of twentieth century New York City and the people amongst whom she lived. The selected portraits include cultural and political figures admired by Neel, among them playwright, actor, and author Alice Childress; the sociologist Horace R. Cayton, Jr., whose 1945 Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City is among the key academic studies of the African American urban experience in the early twentieth century; the community activist and cultural advocate Mercedes Arroyo; and the academic Harold Cruse, known for co-founding (with LeRoi Jones) Harlem’s Black Arts Theater and for his widely-published academic book The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (1967). Other figures include neighbors and acquaintances, such as an anonymous nurse; a ballet dancer; a young art student; a taxi driver; a traveling businessman; a local boy (Georgie Arce) who ran errands for Neel and who sat for her on several occasions; and other children and their families. Alice Neel was born in 1900 in Merion Square, Pennsylvania and died in 1984 in New York.
On View February 23 – April 22, 2017