George Segal | Street Scenes

The Diner, 1964–66
Plaster, wood, chrome, laminated plastic, Masonite, fluorescent lamp, glass, paper. Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.Gift of the T. B. Walker Foundation, 1966.

This work consists of plaster figures and many recycled elements probably found in a junk store near the artist’s home in New Jersey. Although it depicts a very common scene of a waitress and a customer in a diner, George Segal saw this sculpture as infused with edgy tension:

“Walking into a diner after midnight when you’re the only customer, there’s both fatigue and electricity. The waitress behind the counter is always sizing you up, wondering, ‘Is this guy going to rob me or rape me?’ And the customer is wondering, ‘Am I going to be dangerous or sexually attractive?’ There is a careful avoidance of eye contact. Two people alone in a diner after midnight—you know, there’s that electric danger. It’s always present.”






Header Image: George Segal, American, 1924-2000. The Diner, 1964–1966. Plaster, wood, chrome, laminated plastic, Masonite, fluorescent lamp, glass, paper. Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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