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Alice Neel: Hot Off The Griddle

Painting by Alice Neel of Benny and Mary Ellen Andrews, 1972

The largest exhibition to date in the UK of American artist Alice Neel (1900–1984), whose vivid portraits capture the shifting social and political context of the American twentieth century.

Describing herself as ‘a collector of souls’, Neel worked in New York during a period in which figurative painting was deeply unfashionable. Crowned the ‘court painter of the underground,' her canvases celebrate those who were too often marginalised in society: labour leaders, Black and Puerto Rican children, pregnant women, Greenwich Village eccentrics, civil rights activists and queer performers. A member of the US Communist Party, Neel and her radical portraits caught the attention of the FBI. In recent years, the politics of her work has given her cult status among a younger generation of artists.

Organised in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou, Paris, this exhibition brought together over 70 of Neel’s most vibrant portraits, shown alongside archival photography and film, bringing to life what she called ’the swirl of the era’.

Exhibition developed in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou and on display in Paris from 5 October 2022 to 16 January 2023.

The Times
‘Superbly curated.‘
The Observer
‘Marvellous, full of arresting, unforgettable moments.‘
Evening Standard
‘What a pleasure this all is.‘
The Guardian
‘Intimate, frank, humorous and dignified.‘
BBC Radio 4


A portrait by Alice Neel of two figures sat together.

Alice Neel: An Introduction

Writer Hettie Judah invites you into the world of Alice Neel, to discover her expressionistic paintings and the people immortalised by them.

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Visit upcoming exhibitions including Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art, Francis Alÿs, again & again, for free

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two kids playing a video game inside a glassbox

Visual Arts Schools Offer

Schools and education groups are welcome to our diverse range of exhibitions. The Galleries are a stimulating place for students to experience major artworks from some of the world’s leading visual artists and learn about contemporary and modern art.

Art Gallery