George Segal


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(b New York, 26 Nov. 1924; d South Brunswick, NJ, 10 June 2000).

American sculptor. His career was slow to mature. He studied at various art colleges and took a degree in art education at New York University in 1950, but until 1958 he worked mainly as a chicken farmer (see happening), painting Expressionist nudes in his spare time. In 1958 he made his first sculpture and in 1960 he began producing the kind of work for which he became famous—life-size unpainted plaster figures, usually combined with real objects to create strange ghostly tableaux (The Gas Station, 1963, NG, Ottawa). The figures were made from casts taken from the human body: he used his family and friends as models. In the 1970s he began to incorporate sound and lighting effects in his work. Segal has been classified with Pop art and Environment art, but his work is highly distinctive, his figures and groups dwelling in a lonely limbo in a way that captures a disquieting sense of spiritual isolation.

Subjects: Art.

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