August 18, 2007

Artist's legacy: Alice Neel

"Alice Neel," directed and written by Andrew Neel. Institute of Contemporary Art and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. Various dates through Oct. 7.

In the Boston Globe, Cate McQuaid reviews the film: "Andrew Neel splices old footage of interviews with his grandmother alongside his own talks with her sons, other family members, scholars, and friends. On camera, the artist comes across as sweet and benign; in the 1970s she appeared on 'The Tonight Show' and charmed Johnny Carson. Yet both her sons, while declaring their devotion to her, often bristle. Because of their single mother's choices to be an artist and not to partake in New York's art community in Greenwich Village, but instead live in Spanish Harlem, she consigned them to a childhood of poverty. 'I was hurt by Bohemian culture,' bitterly reflects Richard Neel, the filmmaker's uncle. Richard grew up to become a lawyer; his younger brother, Hartley, became a doctor." Read more.

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