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Sold at Auction: George Segal



(b New York, NY, 1942) Contemporary American Sculptor. George Segal attended Pratt, Cooper Union, and New York University, where he received his B.A. in Arts Education in 1949. He would later earn his M.A. in Fine Art from Rutgers University. Segal taught at several schools in New York while also running a chicken farm, his family’s trade, with his wife, Helen. Continuing to paint while teaching, Segal abandoned the style of painterly abstraction of the 1950s, and found his artistic expression in figurative sculpture. Segal became associated with the Happening artists of the late 50s and 60s. Allan Kaprow staged the first Happening on Segal's New Jersey farm and studio in 1958. Stressing generic man over the individual, questioning the relationship between man and objects, and investigating the preoccupation with 'total environments' were all tenets Segal shared with the Happening artists. Although often compared to his contemporaries in the Pop Art movement, Segal's reference to objects is not as specific as the commercial labels, product advertisements and media images employed by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. His environments are more anonymous and expressive of life, than the cool parodies of Pop Art. Tom Wesselmann and Claes Oldenburg were Pop Artists more interested in the figure and in environments than painters such as Warhol and Lichtenstein, yet they also did not fuse the two to the extent that Segal did.* Segal worked until he died in South Brunswick, NJ in 2000. (Credit: Sotheby’s New York, Contemporary, Part One, May 12, 2004, Lot 44.)
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