Alice Neel Georgie Arce 1953

  • Not on view

“I love you Harlem,” Neel wrote in her diary in the early 1940s, “for the rich deep vein of human feeling buried under your fire engines.” Born in Pennsylvania, Neel lived from 1938 to 1962 in Spanish Harlem, where she painted portraits of her friends, family, neighbors, and fellow artists. A chance encounter with a boy named Georgie Arce on a local street sparked a lasting friendship; Neel went on to sketch and paint him several times. Here, she describes him in thick black contours and loose brushstrokes reminiscent of 1920s German Expressionism, an important aesthetic touchstone for her.

Gallery label from "Collection 1940s—1970s", 2019
Oil on canvas
38 × 28" (96.5 × 71.1 cm)
Promised gift of Glenn and Eva Dubin
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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