Viewed now at the turn of the century, George Segal is considered the most important figurative sculptor of his time. In the four decades since his distinctive white-plaster figures established him as a startling innovator as well as a deeply engaged, passionate sculptor, George Segal has experimented widely, reaching more deeply into and beyond his early environmental collages. His work was initially associated with Pop Art with its use of found “real” objects and its commentary on life in America. The unique quality of his work is, in fact, its poetic statement, an approach more in the spirit of American realism, akin to the paintings of Edward Hopper.
Segal’s Locks Gallery exhibition will be his first solo sculpture show since his retrospective. Three new major sculptural installations will be shown as well as three sculptural relief portraits. On the first floor of the Locks Gallery, over two dozen pastel and charcoal drawings will be exhibited. Segal was trained as a painter and in recent years he has refocused his energy in drawing and painting. His portrait drawings are quiet and passionate works.
Segal has been the subject of four major retrospectives (1971, 1978, 1982, and 1998). His most recent retrospective was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington; The Jewish Museum, New York; and the Miami Art Museum. Segal’s first solo exhibition was at the Hansa Gallery in New York in 1959. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions including the ground-breaking “New Realists” show at the Sidney Janis Gallery, New York (1962), “Dokumenta IV” and “Dokumenta VI” (1968, 1977), the Venice Biennale (1988), and “Pop Art” (1991-1993) organized by the Royal Academy of Arts, London. His work is included in virtually every major modern art collection including the Art Institute of Chicago; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
A full-color catalogue with an essay by Sam Hunter will accompany the exhibit. Hunter, professor emeritus at Princeton University, has published important monographs on Isamu Noguchi, Larry Rivers, and Segal.