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Boston's Best: "Two Girls, Spanish Harlem" by Alice Neel

Next up in my catalog of the 50 best/most important/most interesting paintings in and around Boston is this recent addition to the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts: Alice Neel’s “Two Girls, Spanish Harlem” from 1959. It has the loose brushstrokes, black outlines, and subtly expressive faces typical of Neel’s best works. And the palette of earth tones and grays punctuated by bright reds and blacks, and by deep blacks, gives the painting a richness that underscores the depth and complexity of character depicted in the girls’ faces. I wish the MFA would keep this work on permanent display.

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