Alice Neel

Painter Alice Neel was known for her “inner landscapes,” portraits that reflected the hearts of her subjects in mood and background. Examples include a portrait of art historian Meyer Schapiro with a debonair look and a grayed face; one of “land art”-maker Robert Smithson, with a contemplative gaze and surrounded by the kind of swirls that defined his work; and one of eccentric writer Joe Gould, with several penises bursting out of him (yes, really).

Twenty years after Neel’s death, her grandson, Andrew Neel, peered into her psyche, and the result is the documentary Alice Neel, screening today at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Neel lived an interesting life, before and after she became a prominent fixture in New York City art circles. She was a patient at a sanitarium for the mentally ill, a blacklisted communist and a feminist icon — all in addition to the whole painting thing. 8 p.m. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.mfah.org/film. $6 to $7.
Sat., June 21, 7 p.m.; Sun., June 22, 7 p.m.; Sat., June 28, 7 p.m.; Sun., June 29, 7 p.m., 2008

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Nick Keppler