Ceci n’est pas un por­trait

Pasatiempo - - Mixed Media -

When Alice Neel painted Andy Warhol, she did it scars and all. Warhol is shown sit­ting with his shirt off, re­veal­ing the ob­vi­ous traces of the open-chest mas­sage that was needed to re­vive him af­ter he was shot by a dis­grun­tled ac­tress in 1968. “It’s a very amaz­ing por­trait, where she tapped into an in­cred­i­ble vul­ner­a­bil­ity, and that’s what floats to the sur­face,” said art ed­u­ca­tor and writer Diane Ar­mitage, who presents a pro­gram about Neel (1900-1984) at 10 a.m. on Thurs­day, Dec. 9.

This is the fi­nal in­stall­ment in the seven-part More Than Mary Cas­satt lec­ture se­ries spon­sored by the Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts and the New Mex­ico Com­mit­tee of the Na­tional Mu­seum of Women in the Arts. The lec­ture is pre­sented at CCA, 1050 Old Pe­cos Trail.

“Alice Neel ba­si­cally was a por­trait painter, say through the 1930s and 1940s,” Ar­mitage said. “But once you get into Ab­stract Ex­pres­sion­ism, peo­ple won­dered, Who was this kook paint­ing por­traits? She re­ally kind of went into ob­scu­rity, strug­gling fi­nan­cially against un­be­liev­able odds. But she never stopped work­ing and held onto her vi­sion. In the 1960s, peo­ple be­gan to look at her work again.

“I re­ally don’t con­sider her as a por­trait painter, be­cause her paint­ings are like psy­cho­log­i­cal land­scapes,” Ar­mitage said. “Her work is ex­traor­di­nar­ily gritty. She re­ally got to the core of who­ever was sit­ting in front of her. The other thing is that there are a lot of very ab­stract pas­sages in her paint­ings. The way she would work the back­ground could stand alone as an ab­stract paint­ing.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.