Alice Neel in New Jersey and Vermont - A conversation between Angela Lampe Jeremy Lewison

Xavier Hufkens
Jan 3, 2019 10:01AM

Jeremy Lewison, adviser to the Estate of Alice Neel, talks with Angela Lampe, curator of Modern Art at Centre Pompidou, on the occasion of the exhibition 'Alice Neel in New Jersey and Vermont' (26 October—15 December 2018).

Three years after the gallery’s first exhibition of portraits by the American painter Alice Neel (1900—1984), Xavier Hufkens is delighted to present a different facet of her oeuvre: the landscapes, still lifes and portraits that she made in the rural surroundings of Spring Lake and Vermont. The paintings provide an intimate insight into the artist’s personal world and reveal the delight she took in the simple pleasures of life, away from the daily grind of New York.

Alice Neel is considered to be one of the greatest chroniclers of 20th-century America, a story that is brought to life through the magnificent portraits she executed in Spanish Harlem and the Upper West Side of New York City. From intellectuals to next-door neighbours, and from fellow artists to single mothers, Neel painted people from all walks of life. Active for over fifty years, her legacy is an oeuvre that is as historically illuminating and socially engaged as it is autobiographical. Selected by Jeremy Lewison, advisor to the Estate of Alice Neel, this exhibition reveals the way in which she viewed her own intimate world. In contrast to the portraits that Neel painted in New York, most of which are set indoors, the works painted in Spring Lake and Vermont are filled with light, lush vegetation and a sense of openness. Often executed during holidays and weekends, they speak not just of a change of scenery but also of mood: the struggles and vicissitudes of city life give way to an altogether simpler and more rustic existence.

Xavier Hufkens