SEGAL, GEORGE

SEGAL, GEORGE
SEGAL, GEORGE (1924–2000), U.S. sculptor and painter. Best known for his stark, plaster sculptural figures placed in real environments, Segal was born in the Bronx to immigrant parents from Eastern Europe. He studied at various schools, including Cooper Union (1941–42); Rutgers University (1942–46; 1961–63); and New York University (1948–49), where larry rivers was a classmate. Initially Segal painted the human form in a gestural, colorful fashion influenced by Abstract Expressionism, but by 1958 he discovered that sculpture was a more effective way for him to convey his interest in the psychology of the figure. Early experimentations were made from burlap, wire, and plaster and executed in a rough, expressive manner akin to his painterly work, but beginning in the summer of 1961 Segal was casting live models from medical bandages saturated with plaster to capture pose and mood. Butcher Shop (1965, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto), an homage to his father – a kosher butcher in the Bronx during the Great Depression who died six months before the conception of the piece – presents a plaster cast of Segal's mother slaughtering a plaster chicken behind a glass window labeled "Kosher Butcher" in Hebrew. Her impressionist rendering betrays the artist's touch, a technique especially vivid in work completed before 1971 when Segal kept his casts hollow. Indeed, in 1971 Segal began to reproduce negatives of the interior of casts rather than piecing together molds of his models' bodies, thereby creating more lifelike, smoothly rendered, and detailed sculptures. Segal executed many public commissions, notably In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent StateAbraham and Isaac (1978), cast in bronze as an allegory in commemoration of the four students killed by National Guardsmen at Kent State University when they were protesting the Vietnam War. After the controversial sculpture was rejected by Kent State it was subsequently erected at Princeton University in November 1978. The Holocaust (1983), commissioned by the city of San Francisco, overlooks Lincoln Park. The memorial shows several corpses lying on the ground with a lone living figure standing behind a barbed wire fence. The plaster model of the tableau is on display at New York's Jewish Museum. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Friedman and G.W.J. Beal, George Segal: Sculptures (1978); J. van der Marck, George Segal (1979); P. Tuchman, George Segal (1983); S. Hunter and D. Hawthorne, George Segal (1989). (Samantha Baskind (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • SEGAL, GEORGE — (1934– ), U.S. actor. Born in New York, Segal graduated from Columbia University in 1955. He began his career on the off Broadway stage. He moved on to television and Broadway, appearing in the plays Gideon (1961); Rattle of a Simple Man (1963);… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Segal, George — born Nov. 26, 1924, New York, N.Y., U.S. died June 9, 2000, South Brunswick, N.J. U.S. sculptor. Segal began his artistic career as an abstract painter. In 1958 he started creating sculptures from chicken wire and plaster and two years later… …   Universalium

  • Segal, George — (26 nov. 1924, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.–9 jun. 2000, South Brunswick, N.J.). Escultor estadounidense. Segal inició su carrera artística como pintor abstracto. En 1958 comenzó a crear esculturas con malla de alambre y yeso, y dos años después… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Segal, George — (11/26/1924 New York 6/9/2000) (USA)    Painter, sculptor, and art teacher. Studied at the Cooper Union in New York, Rutgers University, the Pratt Institute, New York University, and SUNY Purchase. Started as a figurative painter, but later… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

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  • Segal,George — Se·gal (sēʹgəl), George. Born 1924. American sculptor known for his realistic plaster casts of people in ordinary situations. * * * …   Universalium

  • Segal, George — (b. 1924)    American sculptor. He was born in New York. He began as a painter, then integrated freestanding plaster sculptures with his paintings, and eventually worked in sculptural forms alone. Some of his works refer to his Jewish background …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

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