Text: R. Collins
Head out of the house and into the sculpture gardens this summer for fresh experiences with classic, groundbreaking works of art. On June 16, 2020, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan became the site for an exclusive sculpture exhibition celebrating one of the formative figures of the Pop Art movement. “George Segal: Body Language” explores the career of George Segal, one of the most recognized sculptors of the 20th century and focuses on his remarkable versatility when representing body language in varying media like plaster and print.
“We are thrilled to share this selection of George Segal’s sculptures, reliefs, and two-dimensional works with our guests,” stated Jochen Wierich, curator of sculpture and sculpture exhibitions at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, in a press release. “Segal’s exploration of the human body across different media continues to resonate. By showing the wide range of prints he made while also working on sculpture, we hope to add a new and largely unexplored dimension to this important 20th century artist.”
Creative material technique and working processes catapulted Segal to fame in the 1960s. During this time, he began casting plaster sculptures with medical bandages and eventually showed work alongside Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, and Jim Dine in the legendary exhibition “The New Realists”; thus, the Pop Art movement burst into mainstream visibility.
“George Segal: Body Language” is organized by the Meijer Gardens and the George and Helen Segal Foundation, and it will run through January 3rd, 2021. This appearance by George Segal’s work is the first the sculpture garden has seen since 2004, and it will be the first time that a selection of 32 rarely seen prints, one sculpture, and three wall reliefs from the Segal Foundation and Rena Segal, his daughter, will be on display.
The exhibition will also include drop-in programming like “Sculpture Walk: Figures in the Gardens”—an informational tour of the gardens with its curator of arts education—and “Exploring Process – Printmaking,” which is a discussion on the printmaking process with a working artist and college professor at the Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. These programs are included with admission and will take place July 12th and August 9th, respectively. Visit the Frederik Meijer Gardens calendar to learn more.
Featured image George Segal in Studio #6 circa 1960, photo courtesy of The Segal Foundation