George Segal

Found out via today’s local paper that MMOCA opened “George Segal: Street Scenes” this weekend and will run until December 28th. Segal is well known for using plaster to create life-size figures that he presented together with elements from everyday environments, such as chairs, benches, window frames, and other building fragments. I particularly like how he incorporates his urban vignettes in public spaces and how people interact with them, in essence, becoming a part of the work and the work becoming a part of the community in which it is located.

The exhibition will focus mainly on the works that address commonplace aspects of the city from movie marquees to parking garages, diners, and buses. Starting in the 1970s and continuing through the 1990s, Segal’s work explored the reality of urban decay throughout the twentieth century, with many works focusing specifically on Manhattan’s East Village. Individuals in his works were shown lying on the ground or over subway grates, sitting on stoops, and crossing in front of walls covered with punk graffiti. The plaster or bronze figures are contemplative, sometimes forlorn, and always realistic. As curator Jane Simon states, “The exhibition reveals Segal’s fascination with the darker, seedier side of life.”

As one who is also sometimes fascinated by the darker, seedier side of life, I can’t wait to go check this out.

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