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Alice Neel Art

American, 1900-1984

As one of the 20th century’s most influential American artists, Alice Neel was a champion of social justice, which served as a lifelong inspiration for her portraits and figurative paintings.

Born in 1900 in Merion Square, Pennsylvania, Neel grew up in a strict middle-class family that did not support her artistic ambitions. Undaunted, Neel enrolled in the fine arts program at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women — now the Moore College of Art and Design — where she trained with Ashcan School artist George Harding in 1921. 

In 1924, Neel furthered her art studies for a period at the Chester Springs summer school of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. There, she met her husband, Cuban artist Carlos Enríquez. After they married, they moved to Cuba and had a daughter. When they returned to the United States to live in New York, in 1927, their infant daughter died from diphtheria. By 1930, the couple’s marriage had disintegrated and Neel suffered another blow when Enríquez took their second child to live with him in Cuba. She experienced a nervous breakdown, and her trauma led to an enduring theme of loss, motherhood and anxiety in her paintings.   

Living in Greenwich Village and then uptown, Neel endured additional difficult relationships but immersed herself in her work. She secured a job with the Works Progress Administration, painting urban scenes and portraits of left-wing writers, artists and trade unionists. In 1938, she moved to Spanish Harlem, where she painted stark and honest still-lifes and portraits of friends, family and neighbors. Neel continued to make representational work even as the art world in New York City became enveloped in trendy Abstract Expressionism.

In 1951, Neel had her first solo exhibition showing 17 paintings at the A.C.A. Gallery. That same year, New York’s New Playwrights Theater exhibited 24 of her works, where she was hailed “a pioneer of socialist-realism in American painting.” 

In 1960, Neel moved to the Upper West Side and made portraits of public figures such as poet Frank O’Hara, Andy Warhol and artist Robert Smithson. 

Neel exhibited widely throughout the U.S. during the 1970s and was championed by art critics and feminist activists. She was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan. In 1980, her Self-Portrait was shown for the first time in the collection “Selected 20th Century American Self-Portraits” at the Harold Reed Gallery.

Neel’s legacy as a humanist lives on long after her death in 1984. In 2021, the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted a retrospective exhibition of her work. 

On 1stDibs, discover a range of original Alice Neel paintings and prints.

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Artist: Alice Neel
Alice Neel PORTRAIT OF A GIRL… Screenprint
By Alice Neel
Located in Lake Worth Beach, FL
Artist/Designer: Alice Neel (American, 1900-1984) Additional Information: Full title of the work is “Portrait of a Girl in Blue Chair.” Marking(s); notes: signed twice (once in pla...
Category

20th Century Contemporary Alice Neel Art

Materials

Screen

Alice Neel MAN IN HARNESS Lithograph, Signed Edition
By Alice Neel
Located in Lake Worth Beach, FL
Additional Information: Provenance: Private Collection, Palm Beach, Florida Marking(s); notes: signed; ed. 23/100; 1980 Country of origin; materials: USA; lithograph Dimensions: 3...
Category

Mid-20th Century Contemporary Alice Neel Art

Materials

Lithograph

The Youth (John Cheim), Alice Neel
By Alice Neel
Located in Fairfield, CT
Artist: Alice Neel (1900-1984) Title: The Youth (John Cheim) Year: 1982 Medium: Lithograph on Arches paper Edition: 20/25 A.P. Size: 38 x 24 inches Condition: Excellent Inscription: ...
Category

1980s Expressionist Alice Neel Art

Materials

Lithograph

The Family, Alice Neel
By Alice Neel
Located in Fairfield, CT
Artist: Alice Neel (1900-1984) Title: The Family Year: 1982 Medium: Lithograph on Arches paper Edition: 57/175, plus proofs Size: 31.25 x 27 inches Condition: Excellent Inscription: ...
Category

1980s Expressionist Alice Neel Art

Materials

Lithograph

PORTRAIT OF JOHN ROTHSCHILD Signed Lithograph Seated Man with Pipe, Sailor Shirt
By Alice Neel
Located in Union City, NJ
PORTRAIT OF JOHN ROTHSCHILD is an original hand drawn, limited edition lithograph by the American woman painter Alice Neel printed on archival Arches paper, 100% acid free, using tra...
Category

1980s Contemporary Alice Neel Art

Materials

Lithograph

Nancy in a Cast 1983
By Alice Neel
Located in Rochester Hills, MI
Alice Neel Nancy in a Cast- 1983 Print - Lithograph on Arches Archival Paper Paper Size : 36" x 25" inches Edition: Signed in pencil  and marked  17/36 Unframed Though Neel's work can revel in a painterly loveliness, she doesn't pander to her audience or to her subjects, and it's not unusual for her paintings to be tough. "Cezanne said, 'I love to paint people who have grown old naturally in the country.' My statement is, 'I love to paint people mutilated and beaten up by the rat race in New York.'" Her work is now in the collections of museums and private collectors in the USA and Europe. As an American portrait artist with an international reputation, Alice Neel was both a woman of her time and an artist with timeless talents. In 1932 she entered the art world while living in Greenwich Village, NY and called herself "a collector of souls.”. In 1958 she began to paint artists, critics, writers, historians, and other art world figures. In 1970 she painted Andy Warhol, shirtless and scarred after he was shot in the chest and abdomen. By the time she died she...
Category

1980s Alice Neel Art

Materials

Lithograph

Man in a harness 1980
By Alice Neel
Located in Rochester Hills, MI
Alice Neel Man in a harness - 1980 Print - Lithograph on Arches Archival Paper Paper Size : 31¼" x 27" inches Edition: Signed, Dated and numbered in pencil XX/XX Though Neel's work can revel in a painterly loveliness, she doesn't pander to her audience or to her subjects, and it's not unusual for her paintings to be tough. "Cezanne said, 'I love to paint people who have grown old naturally in the country.' My statement is, 'I love to paint people mutilated and beaten up by the rat race in New York.'" Her work is now in the collections of museums and private collectors in the USA and Europe. As an American portrait artist with an international reputation, Alice Neel was both a woman of her time and an artist with timeless talents. In 1932 she entered the art world while living in Greenwich Village, NY and called herself "a collector of souls.”. In 1958 she began to paint artists, critics, writers, historians, and other art world figures. In 1970 she painted Andy Warhol, shirtless and scarred after he was shot in the chest and abdomen. By the time she died she...
Category

1980s Contemporary Alice Neel Art

Materials

Lithograph

Man in a Harness
By Alice Neel
Located in New York, NY
A very good impression of this color lithograph on Arches. Signed, dated and numbered 88/100 in pencil by Neel. Published by Eleanor Ettinger, Inc., New York, with the blind stamp lo...
Category

1980s Abstract Expressionist Alice Neel Art

Materials

Color, Lithograph

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Previously Available Items
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Light, Limited Edition Lithograph, Alice Neel - LARGE
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Light, Alice Neel
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Artist: Alice Neel (1900-1984) Title: Light Year: 1982 Medium: Lithograph on Arches paper Edition: 175, plus proofs Size: 38 x 27 inches Condition: Excellent Inscription: Signed and ...
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Artist: Alice Neel (1900-1984) Title: Jar from Samarkland Year: 1982 Medium: Lithograph on Arches paper Edition: 175, plus proofs Size: 38 x 28 inches Condition: Excellent Inscriptio...
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Located in Fairfield, CT
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PORTRAIT OF JOHN ROTHSCHILD is an original hand drawn, limited edition lithograph by the American woman painter Alice Neel printed on archival Arches paper, 100% acid free, using traditional hand lithography techniques. PORTRAIT OF JOHN ROTHSCHILD is a dramatic interior scene depicting an expressionist style portrait of a grim looking bald man...
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1980s Contemporary Alice Neel Art

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The Youth (John Cheim)
By Alice Neel
Located in Fairfield, CT
Artist: Alice Neel (1900-1984) Title: The Youth (John Cheim) Year: 1982 Medium: Lithograph on Arches paper Edition: 175, plus proofs Size: 38 x 24 inches Condition: Excellent Inscrip...
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Mother and Child
By Alice Neel
Located in Fairfield, CT
Artist: Alice Neel (1900-1984) Title: Mother and Child Year: 1982 Medium: Lithograph on Arches paper Edition: 175, plus proofs Size: 31.25 x 27 inches Condition: Excellent Inscriptio...
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Bather (Olivia with Red Hat), Limited Edition Lithograph, Alice Neel - LARGE
By Alice Neel
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Alice Neel art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Alice Neel art available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Alice Neel in lithograph, paper and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the Expressionist style. Not every interior allows for large Alice Neel art, so small editions measuring 22 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Bernard Aptekar, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and Paul Klee. Alice Neel art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $4,600 and tops out at $44,000, while the average work can sell for $8,500.

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Questions About Alice Neel Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 21, 2024
    The medium that Alice Neel used was painting. She was one of the 20th century's most influential American artists and a champion of social justice, which served as a lifelong inspiration for her portraits and figurative paintings. In 1938, she moved to Spanish Harlem in New York City, where she painted stark and honest still lifes and portraits of friends, family and neighbors. Neel continued to make representational work even as the art world in Manhattan became enveloped in trendy Abstract Expressionism. After her first solo exhibition in 1951, she was hailed as "a pioneer of socialist-realism in American painting." Explore a selection of Alice Neel art on 1stDibs.

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