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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Alice Neel: People Come First

Metropolitan Museum of Art / New York / Art

“Whether I’m painting or not, I have this overweening interest in humanity,” proclaimed the American artist Alice Neel, who often compared her process to a sort of therapy. Primarily a portraitist, Neel was deeply invested in her subjects, who ranged from impecunious neighbors in Spanish Harlem to front-line activists fighting against a host of dangerous isms. Throughout the Great Depression and the postwar reconstruction era, Neel captured the trials and triumphs of her fellow New Yorkers with groundbreaking frankness, abandoning traditional tenets of portraiture in order to depict the humanity within each sitter. This show, the first Alice Neel retrospective in New York in 20 years, focuses on her unrelenting interest in the people that filled the city’s streets. —Sabina Vitale

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Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, USA
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