In these teacher materials, students will learn and understand that, today, artists from all over the world use diverse ways of expressing creative thought.
George Segal (American, 1924-2000)
plaster and mixed media, Overall: 289.5 x 243.8 x 91.4 cm (113 15/16 x 95 15/16 x 35 15/16 in.). Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1974.22
George Segal began his career as a figurative painter, but in the 1960s, his interest turned toward "the theater of the street," and he began to create three-dimensional "environments." Built like stage-sets that incorporated real objects as props-the truck in The Red Light was Segal's own - the settings usually evoke an urban environment.
Segal felt that "a minute of existence is miraculous and extraordinary." His work freezes those minutes, allowing them to be studied in depth. To achieve this effect in The Red Light, Segal worked with a live model, soaking cloth in a durable white industrial plaster to cast the figure in sections. He then cut the cast into sections, reassembled the pieces, and adjusted the pose. The figure's all-white surface and lack of specific facial features convey a sadly anonymous presence, offering a metaphor for the reality of daily, city life.
CMA 1973: "Contemporary American Artists," cat. #24, repr. p. 17
CMA 1975: "Year in Review 1974," Bulletin, LXII (March 1975), p. 102, cat. #138, repr. p. 87
CMA 1975: "Traditions and Revisions," cat. #116, repr. p. 136
CMA 1976: "Materials and Techniques of 20th Century Artists," cat. #9
Minneapolis, MN, Walker Art Center, 1978-1979: "George Segal: Sculptures," cat. no. 28, repr. p. 82 (Approved: Trustees' Meg 7/25/1977).
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