1970 Andy Warhol
Oil on Canvas
60 x 40 inches / 152.4 x 101.6 cm
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Gift of Timothy Collins

This portrait of the infamous Andy Warhol is by American painter Alice Neel, who painted her friends, family, and fellow artists in the 20th century.  Here she depicts Warhol with without his shirt, showcasing the large scar on his stomach after being shot by radical feminist Valerie Solanas (she also shot curator and critic Mario Amaya in Warhol's studio).  Amaya was barely injured in the attack, but Warhol barely survived the event, a circumstance that seems readable here by his meditative stance and somber facial expression.

Alice Neel's work was known for its expressive brushwork and the omni-present contour line around her figures and their sparse backgrounds.  Born in 1900, her work was well developed by the 1960's during the Feminist Movement, and she and her art became an icon of sorts.  Her work has circulated around the world from the Whitney Museum in New York to the Tate Modern in London, and are praised for their wonderfully awkward and playful takes on the figure.