born Nov. 26, 1924, New York, N.Y., U.S.
died June 9, 2000, South Brunswick, N.J.
American sculptor of monochromatic, cast plaster figures often situated in
environments of mundane furnishings and objects.
Segal was educated at the Cooper Union, Pratt Institute of Design, New
York University (B.S., 1950), and Rutgers University (M.F.A., 1963) and
began his artistic career as an abstract painter. In 1958 he started
creating sculptures from chicken wire and plaster and two years later
turned to plastercasts, often using family members and friends as models.
Though he was associated with members of the burgeoning Pop art movement
in the late 1950s, Segal's sculptures, which were frequently outfitted
with the bland commercial props of the Pop idiom, are distinguished from
that characteristically ironic movement by a mute, ghostly anguish. His
casting technique, in which the live model is wrapped in strips of
plaster-soaked cheesecloth, imparts a rough texture and a minimum of
surface detail to the figures,thus heightening the sense of anonymity and
isolation. Notable works include The Truck (1966), The Laundromat
(1966–67), and Hot Dog Stand (1978).