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Alice Neel: A Romantic Bohemian-Type Communist

A tour with Dr Matthew James Holman

Marxist Girl painting by Alice Neel

Alice Neel: Hot Off The Griddle highlights Neel’s political sensibility. For this tour, Dr Matthew James Holman focuses on Neel’s most political subjects and the era’s alarmism over left-wing groups.

A card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA from 1935, Neel felt frustrated with the bureaucracy of their meetings, but believed vehemently in the need for greater social justice. She was a regular of the picket lines in the 1930s and, right into her eighties, would still join protests with friends such as the artist Benny Andrews.

Dr Matthew Holman is The Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Fellow at The Courtauld. Matthew holds a PhD in American art from University College London, and has been a research fellow at Yale and The Smithsonian. His writing appears in The TLS, Jacobin, The New Left Review, The Oxford Art Journal, and elsewhere. His first book, Curating Modern Life: Frank O’Hara and the Politics of Art, is out with Bloomsbury in 2024.

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