The Great Women Artists
Helen Molesworth on Alice Neel
Apr 28, 2020 · 58 min
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In Episode 23 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the world's GREATEST writers and curators, Helen Molesworth on ALICE NEEL !!! The most exceptional portrait painter to ever life, and in my opinion, the most pioneering artist there ever was, Alice Neel was a visionary. Born as early as 1900 and based in NYC for her entire adulthood, Neel's life corresponded with the 20th century, which saw her live through political events, as well as a multitude of art movements and styles.   Painting her portraits in her signature thick blue and black outlines; scrutinising her sitter in every way; capturing the essence of the encounter; and owning her subject, Neel remained continuously loyal to her painterly style throughout the course of her six-decade-plus career.  Capturing art world stars such as Andy Warhol, to her cleaner Carmen and landlord's son, Benjamin, Alice Neel painted the world and community she surrounded herself, first in Harlem, and then on the Upper West Side. Dubbed 'a collector of souls' she painted people how she saw them: frank, honest, expressive, and truthful.  And then there are her revolutionary paintings of the nude: from sexualised portrayals of men to protruding pregnant women. WOW. Was she groundbreaking.  It was completely amazing to interview the genius Helen Molesworth, who is SO insightful on the life and work of Alice Neel. One of the most fun episodes I have ever recorded, we deep dive into Neel discussing her take on men, her encounters, and what her art means for the history of art.  Further reading/watching: Helen Molesworth at David Zwirner: Essay by Helen Molesworth: Hilton Als curated show, Uptown, at Victoria Miro: Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri @alighieri_jewellery Enjoy 10% off using the code TGWA! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield
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