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Andy Warhol

Alice Neel American

Not on view

Showing Andy Warhol (1928–1987) in a serene void, Neel’s renowned portrait of the Pop Art icon casts her subject in a surprisingly existential guise, unmoored from his celebrity and the consumerist character of his art. Sitting seminude in a seemingly meditative or prayer-like state, he submits to the viewer’s inspection of his pale, unathletic body. Neel’s technique accentuates Warhol’s vulnerability, her slender painted lines registering metaphorically as precarious lifelines. Resulting from an assassination attempt in June 1968 and the multiple surgeries necessary to save his life, scars crisscross Warhol’s torso. "I’m so scarred I look like a Dior dress," Warhol divulged to the New York Times. "The scars are really very beautiful . . . [but] they are a reminder that I’m still sick, and I don’t know if I will ever be well again."

Andy Warhol, Alice Neel (American, Merion Square, Pennsylvania 1900–1984 New York), Oil and acrylic on linen

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