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Painting by Alice Neel Acquired by The Cleveland Museum of Art
Alice Neel (1900 - 1984), "Jackie Curtis and Rita Red", 1970. Oil on canvas. 60 x 41 3/4 inches. Est: $400,000—500,000 USD. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: $1,650,500 USD. Photo: Sotheby's.
NEW YORK, NY.- The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) today announced the acquisition of "Jackie Curtis and Rita Red" (Oil on canvas, 1970) by Alice Neel (American, 1900-1984). Purchased from the collection of Mary Schiller Myers and Louis S. Myers at Sotheby’s in New York on November 11, "Jackie Curtis and Rita Red" is widely recognized as a superb example of Neel’s work during the most fertile years of her career as well as one of her most moving pieces. CMA temporarily borrowed "Jackie Curtis and Rita Red" from the Myers for the inaugural opening of the East Wing this past summer in order to more fully represent the work of Neel and women artists of the 20th-century among the museum’s contemporary collection.

“I am sure many will be eager to see "Jackie Curtis and Rita Red" return to the newly opened East Wing galleries,” said Deborah Gribbon, interim director of CMA. “This purchase underscores the CMA’s focus on the continued development of our collection, always considered as one of the finest in this country, and specifically our dedication to acquiring the art of our time.”

Neel was a pioneering woman artist and one of the great portrait painters of the 20th-century. Neel’s work conveys a distinguished personal vision, which she forged in the crucible of the social experiences and cultural avant-garde of New York City. Throughout the years during which Modernism and art-for-art’s sake dominated debates about art, she championed an approach to painting that was rooted in human relationships. Neel’s work was fueled by her desire to draw attention to the lives of those whose contribution to society she viewed as unrecognized. Neel’s work has had a pervasive influence on artists of successive generations, including Chuck Close and Keith Mayerson.

This painting offers a significant parallel to the museum’s painting "Marilyn x 100" by Andy Warhol, resonates strongly with earlier figurative works and portraiture represented in the collection, and further strengthens the museum’s representation of work by women artists.

The Cleveland Museum of Art | Jackie Curtis and Rita Red | Alice Neel |




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