Alice Neel was born with the century in 1900. Because she was a girl, her mother didn’t encourage her in a career. Nevetheless, Neel knew what she wanted—to paint—and she went for it. Even when she had to be hospitalized for a nervous breakdown (in 1930, her husband took their small daughter and left for Cuba) the doctors went against the trend and let her draw and paint during her stay. Now, 90 years later, a survey of Neel’s paintings has arrived in Spain, marking her first retrospective in the country. Focused on Neel’s favorite subject—people—the exhibition features over 100 paintings, pastels, and watercolors, all done with her signature thick brushstrokes in dynamic colors. —J.D.
The exhibtion next travels to the de Young Museum in San Francisco, where it will run from March 12 to July 10, 2022.