Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Female Gaze: Alice Neel and Women Artists Who Inspire

By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager

In honor of tomorrow's screening of Alice Neel, a documentary about the esteemed 20th century painter known for her expressive oil portraits, we asked audience members who their favorite female artist was and why. A number were fans of Neel's work, which you can currently see on display in the show The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA).

Here are our favorite responses:
"My favorite female artist is Mary Cassatt. I've always loved her paintings of children--playing at shore, little girl in a straw hat, little girl in a chair. The paintings are lovely and peaceful. Love her use of color and how her paintings make me feel.
I grew up in Augusta, GA. Now I live in Berwyn and exercise at the Upper Main Line Y--[located in] the Cassatt mansion. Life is surprising." - Joan Coney

Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, 1878 (oil on canvas) by Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844-1926)
"Alice Neel is my very favorite female artist and I am very fortunate to own one of her still lifes. I met her a year before she died and she showed an interest in doing my portrait but became ill so it never happened. Her art speaks to me with an expressiveness that very few other artists show." - Shirley L. Kurland
"There is no question... Alice Neel is my favorite female artist. Any woman who will paint a nude portrait of herself in her seventies when her bod badly needs ironing has my vote!" - Jean Homeier

Alice Neel at work in the documentary Alice Neel, showing at BMFI this week.
"Georgia O'Keeffe lived a life that we all wish we had the courage to live, forging a path for strong women to be able to follow their hearts rather than the predicable road that society has paved." - Jocelyn Grover

Thanks to everyone who responded and congratulations to Joan Coney, who won two tickets to tomorrow's screening for being the first one to reply! We hope that you'll join her to learn more about Alice Neel's work and her unconventional life. PAFA's Senior Curator Robert Cozzolino will introduce the film.

Which female artists inspire you? Tell us in the comments below.

Devin Wachs is the Public Relations Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!

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