Sunset Gothic is used for the identity of Alice Neel: People Come First, the first comprehensive West Coast retrospective of Neel’s work hosted by the de Young museum. The exhibition includes depictions of Neel’s neighbors in Spanish Harlem, political leaders, queer cultural figures, activists, and mothers, along with a diverse representation of nude figures, including visibly pregnant women. Neel’s “pictures of people” embody a rare candor and irreverence.
Sunset Gothic is a painterly sans-serif rendered in the tradition of Los Angeles sign-painters. Throughout her life, Neel was very politically active and cared deeply about social justice. Drawing on Neel’s activism and the kind of spontaneous hand-lettering that is produced for protests, Sunset Gothic’s expressive and humanistic qualities felt like an appropriate extension of Neel’s artistic approach. The addition of the underline references the signature blue contour outline featured in Neel’s paintings.
Design: Lizzie Baur
Art direction: Amy Browne and Ben Shaykin
Exhibition design and graphics: Tristan Telander and Katrina Coulourides