Lizzie Baur

Alice Neel: People Come First
Identity System, 2021

Alice Neel: People Come First, the first comprehensive West Coast retrospective of Neel’s work hosted by the de Young museum, positions Neel as one of the century’s most radical painters, a champion of social justice whose long-standing commitment to humanist principles inspired her life as well as her art.

Drawing on Neel’s activism and the kind of spontaneous hand-lettering that is produced for protests, the title was typeset in Sunset Gothic, a painterly sans-serif with expressive and humanistic qualities. The title and subtitle are set at the same scale, establishing a non-hierarchical relationship between the artist and her sitters. The title also includes an underline which references the signature blue contour outline, a defining stylistic feature within Neel’s body of work.

Typeset in Sunset Gothic. Installation photography by Gary Sexton.