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Cinema

© The George and Helen Segal Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Cinema

© The George and Helen Segal Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Cinema

© The George and Helen Segal Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Cinema

© The George and Helen Segal Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Cinema

© The George and Helen Segal Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

George Segal

American, 1924-2000

Cinema, 1963

plaster, illuminated Plexiglas, and metal

overall: 118 x 96 x 39 inches (299.72 x 243.84 x 99.06 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1964

K1964:3

Currently On View

More Details

Inscriptions

no inscriptions

Provenance

Sidney Janis Gallery, New York;
sold to Seymour H. Knox, Jr. for the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, January 10, 1964

Class

Sculpture (visual work)

Work Type

Construction (sculpture)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

George Segal desired to reunite art and everyday life following Abstract Expressionism and the long banishment of representation from the realm of serious art—an aim he shared with many other Pop artists during the 1960s. He began placing white plaster casts of people in environments containing furniture, walls, doors, windows, and other situational props. Segal’s empathetic portrayals of people, however, set him apart from his Pop art peers, who often based their figures on the highly stylized techniques of commercial illustration. Segal’s prime interest was in capturing simultaneously individual and universal aspects of the human psyche through symbolic tableaux. Yet, his eerie, monochromatic figures are a far distance from reality. They are life-like in their gestures but also frozen in time. Cinema reveals the grace and dignity inherent in a simple act as well as the isolation that can accompany the living. With this sculpture, Segal sought to convey the impression of a scene he once fleetingly witnessed while driving home late at night from New York City. He recalled seeing "a fellow reaching up to pluck off the last letter from an illuminated sign, and it was like seeing an exalted moment. It was like seeing an epiphany. . . . I remembered . . . the man's body silhouetted against a wall of emanating light which appeared to dissolve his edges." Additionally, Cinema is the first work in which the artist employed electricity and is the only work he made in which light is an integral part of the composition.

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