Alice Neel (American, 1900-1984) is widely regarded as one of the foremost American figurative painters in the 20th century. Her subjects usually involved her family, friends, and a broad variety of New York City locals, where she was based. Through this diversity, she is able to engage a number of issues including gender, racial inequality, and labor struggles. Her humor is unsparing and dry as Neel attempts to reveal the ugliness of the world through caricatured representations of her subjects. She often chooses eclectic characters, such as bohemians and writers, amongst others, to portray and create a dialogue with the city in which she lives. She studied at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women as well as worked with the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s while she lived in New York.
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