Best Big Museum Exhibit (Since March 2001)
The reputation of late New York artist Alice Neel has been on the rise for decades, and her work became especially important to expressionists and to women artists beginning in the 1970s. It was then that Dianne Vanderlip, living in Philadelphia, organized the first-ever retrospective of Neel's career. In so doing, Vanderlip found herself on the ground floor of the discovery -- actually the rediscovery -- of Neel. Now, almost thirty years later, it seems appropriate that Vanderlip, the Denver Art Museum's curator of modern and contemporary art, would snag Alice Neel, the latest retrospective on the artist. Like that first show, this one came out of Philadelphia, and it packed in the crowds when it came to Denver this past fall and winter. Much to her credit, Vanderlip presented Neel's triumphs in a coherent, chronological way, something that's rarely done anymore.
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