New Arrivals

George Segal “Girl Resting Chin on Hand” (1970)

George Segal
Girl Resting Chin on Hand
1970
Plaster and paint
9 x 17 x 16 inches (22.86 x 43.18 x 40.64 cm)
Unique

Please contact the gallery for pricing information.

Fragments, Plaster Reliefs 1970

“Segal’s direct casting of the figure ­ sometimes described as wrapping or embalming of the
body, ­ was a logical development from the concept of the “ready­made”, and in his own view it
could be justified both as a form of drawing and by reference to avant­garde developments: to
make an imprint from the body seemed as valid to him as the marks made on canvas by the
rhythmic movements of Jackson Pollock’s arms.”

­- Marco Livingstone, “George Segal. A Retrospective”, Montreal, Washington, New York, Miami,
1998

In 1969 George Segal began creating partial body casts out of plaster titled “Fragments”
presented as wall reliefs. Works from this series like the Fragments “Dangling Arm” and “Hand
at Side” parallel Bruce Nauman’s late 1960s interest, ­ however more directly indebted to
Surrealist assemblage and mind play ­, in the resin body fragment as in “De la main à la
bouche” (1967).

The outstanding character and conceptual advance of Segal’s white Fragments is their
dramatically reduced minimalism, their suggestive and disruptive incompleteness, and the raw
concrete surfaces revealing their making out of the plaster­soaked bandages.

“It must have been tempting… for a sculptor whose work relies so heavily on spatial and
environmental articulation, to reduce exactly those elements in order to see with how little he
could get by. Already he knew from experience that the cast of a single nude body on a plaster
mattress was articulate enough to show space and environment as well as the identity of its
maker. But what if he selected just one telling part of the body?”

“Fragments are like glimpses ­ they grow and complete themselves in the mind of the beholder.
…In Segal’s sculptures the fragments function as flashes of memory as well as glimpses of
people actually seen. Isolated, they are formal notations, poetic and brief. But hung on the
gallery wall, with space between them, at some distance from the viewer (the rudiment of an
environment), they come alive.”

“Segal’s figures show arrested motion and weighty repose. They seem caught in a moment of
stasis…We never encounter crisis, a critical moment, an apotheosis, or a decisive act. The
narrative if any is held to minimum….

There tends to be a minimum of specific and a maximum of general information. This explains
why Segal’s figures strike us as low­key and always appear silent.
Segal admits having an interest in silence, and his white plaster figures attest to that in more
than the obvious. Silence, pregnant and telling, is a pervasive condition of Segal’s work….
The ectoplasmic character of what Kaprow called Segal’s “vital Mummies” might be another
clue to what strikes us as silence.”

­- Jan van der Marck, “George Segal”, New York, 1979