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The Norton Museum Opens Major Exhibition, George Segal: Street Scenes
George Segal, Dumpster, 1994. Plaster, silver gelatin prints, 96½ x 144½ x 27 inches. © The George and Helen Segal Foundation/licensed by VAGA, New York. Courtesy of The George and Helen Segal Foundation, New Jersey, and Carroll Janis, New York. Photograph: D. James Dee.
WEST PALM BEACH, FL.- George Segal is considered one of the most important and influential American artists of the twentieth century. He started his signature life-size sculptures in the early 1960; using friends and families as models, he draped bandages soaked in plaster over their bodies and let the bandages dry in place. Working on one section at a time, he removed the hardened life-like shapes and later reassembled the pieces with found objects to create contemplative tableaux documenting the quiet introspective moments in life.

George Segal: Street Scenes is the first exhibition to focus on the sculptor’s exploration of the urban environment, who was born and raised in New York City. His interaction with the city and his ability to quietly observe and capture the urban sphere were central to his sculpture. Street Scenes portrays men and women, sitting, walking and talking in proximity to cinema marquees, parking garages, diners and buses. With the city as his muse, these full-scale recreations address often-overlooked, yet poignant encounters. In Cinema (cover image), a ghostly man changes the lettering in the harsh light of the theatre marquee, revealing the often unseen labor that drives the city. The Diner presents a quiet moment rippling with silent tensions: although the waitress and customer are the only two occupants of an otherwise empty restaurant, they are disengaged and seem to be in their own separate worlds. For Dumpster Segal incorporated elements of the Punk and graffiti culture from New York’s East Village, which features a cast of his daughter Rena and a photographic image of a trash receptacle with street art and wheat-plaster advertisements.

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August 31, 2009

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