Alice Neel


Alice Neel (January 28, 1900 – October 13, 1984) was an American visual artist. Recognized for her paintings of friends, family, lovers, poets, artists, and strangers, Neel is considered one of the greatest American portraitists of the 20th century. Her career spanned from the 1920s to 1980s.

Her paintings have an expressionistic use of line and color, psychological acumen, and emotional intensity. She pursued a career as a figurative painter during a period when abstraction was favored, and she did not begin to gain critical praise for her work until the 1960s. Her work contradicts and challenges the traditional and objectified nude depictions of women by her male predecessors. This is done by depicting women through a female gaze, illustrating them as being consciously aware of the objectification by men and the demoralizing effects of the male gaze.

Wikidata identifier


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Country of birth

United States


Artist, painter, photographer, sculptor

ULAN identifier



Alice Neel, Alice Hartley Neel

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 11, 2024.