Alice Neel was born in Philidelphia in 1900 and lived until 1984. She is often recognized as one of the great American painters. While Neel painted landscapes and still lives, she is most known for her portraits. Her paintings can be distinguished for their playful use of line and color creating expressions of emotional intensity.
Neel was received her degree in art at the Philadelphia School of Design. Neel is described as a "painter with a strong social conscience and equally strong left-wing beliefs." In the 1930s Neel packed up her belongings and embraced the diversity of Greenwich Village, NY. She became an activate participant for the Work Progress Administration by painting urban landscapes. In 1938, Neel moved again, taking her career to Spanish Harlem, painting the Puerto Rican community as well as neighbors, acquaintances and people in passing. In the 1960s, Neel continued to paint "political personalities, including black activists and supporters of the women's movement." Neel became a role model for women for supporters of the feminist movement.
I am very moved by Neel's success and devotion to making artwork that is aesthetically pleasing while maintaining a balance of "social conscience " in conjunction with her liberal themes.