New York 1924 - 2000 New Brunswick (NJ)
George Segal was long classified as a Pop Artist, but is now rightly regarded as a metaphysical realist who dealt with general issues of the individual in a mass society, anonymity and the mysterious fact of existence. The pictorial language that he developed - which is characterized by plaster-cast human figures, most of which are life-sized, but lack individual features and are kept in the abstract white colour of the material - impressively expresses his transpersonal artistic comment on the mental state of man, on the individual and on the masses. The depersonalised ordinariness and universality of his figures conceal their silent, almost melancholic social criticism in the strangely contradictory aesthetics of figural abstraction. His increasing interest in relations of space and light, hence in questions of composition and perception, led Segal to combine his figures with real everyday objects such as chairs, benches and other pieces of furniture, to group several figures together or to place them in - mostly fragmentary - space situations. Thus, Segal made an important contribution to developing the environment as a major innovation of modern post-war sculpture.
Around the world, works by George Segal are included in major collections and museums of contemporary art. His works have repeatedly been shown in large retrospectives, at the Venice Biennale and the documenta.