George Segal | Street Scenes

Japanese Couple against Brick Wall, 1981
Plaster, paint, wood. Courtesy The George and Helen Segal Foundation, New Jersey and Carroll Janis, New York.

Japanese Couple against Brick Wall speaks to the diversity of life in New York City, which has long been home to immigrants who bring with them vibrant cultural activity. Segal was particularly drawn to areas of the city where Japanese, Chinese and Puerto Ricans, along with vestiges of immigrant Jewish populations mix with scores of artists, musicians and bohemians. Japanese Couple against Brick Wall captures the ever-changing environment of New York.

Although the identity of the couple has been forgotten, those who knew or worked with Segal recall the male model’s displeasure that the artist placed the female in front of him. In traditional Japanese culture, men have priority over women.

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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