Lecture: Alice Neel and the photographic image Sunday 28 November, 2 pm
Jeremy Lewison at the opening of Alice Neel: Painted Truths. Photo: Max Adolfsson
The development of Alice Neels art runs parallel with the development of twenieth century photography. Jeremy Lewison, co-curator of Alice Neel: Painted Truths, examines similarities and differences between the painted and the photographed portrait.
It has been common to situate Alice Neel’s art within the context of painting, drawing comparisons with the work of Matisse, Picasso, Kokoschka, Van Gogh, Munch, Dix and Beckmann among others. One might, however, equally consider the photographic environment into which Neel inserted her work, not least because her idiom, which might be described loosely as realist, can be directly related to the interests of certain photographers of her era.
In his lecture Jeremy Lewison will examine the relationship of Neel to photography in the twentieth century and suggesting that developments in her painting and her approach to image making were closely allied to changes in approach in photography. Drawing on the work of Nadar, August Sander, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Helen Levitt, Diane Arbus and Richard Avedon, to name only a few, Lewison will suggest that Neel’s art, if not closely allied to avant-garde painting, was closely linked to cutting edge photography.