Alice Neel (1900-1984), one of the great portrait painters of the 20th century, reinvented the genre by expressing the inner landscape of her subjects, who included luminaries such as Andy Warhol, Bella Abzug, and Allen Ginsberg as well as her neighbors in Spanish Harlem. Directed by her grandson, Andrew Neel, this very personal film captures her struggles as a female artist, a single mother, and a painter who defied convention. With unlimited access to photos, video, art, and letters, Neel reveals a portrait of the artist consistent with the themes of intimacy, family, and survival that were so central to her work.
The fascinating documentary Alice Neel illuminates history while also demonstrating how an artist's style reveals his or her personality.
Mark Zoller Seitz, New York Times