Sculptures, Environments: Letters

From the intricate posing of the bodies he cast to the minute details of the materials that accompany them, Segal’s works have the distinct ability to evoke uneasy intimacy and disrupt the separation between art and reality. As Segal described in 1963: “Few people are as yet familiar with my own attitudes toward the uncomfortably real objects I incorporate into the work and the actual space around them. The most direct way I can say it is that the objects (including the figures) are carefully and painfully chosen for formal and psychological reasons.” As a testament to Segal’s perspective, several of his letters to gallery owners and collectors candidly express his persistent commitment to displaying and representing his works, despite their vivid, fragile, and ironic configurations.