"All I want to do I provoke thought."
"I deal primarily with mystery and in the presentation of mystery. If I cast someone in plaster, it is the mystery of a human being that is presented. If I put him next to an object, it also raises a question about the nature of that object."
Even though the museums guarding their precious property fence everything off, in my own studio, I made them so you and I could walk in and around, and among these sculptures.
In 1961, while teaching an adult education class in New Brunswick, a student brought to George’s class a box of dry plaster bandages. Segal took them home and experimented with applying them directly to his body. With the help of his wife, Helen, Segal was able to make parts of a body cast and assemble them into a complete seated figure. Segal provided an environment for his body cast by adding a chair, a window frame and a table. Man Sitting at a Table marked the discovery of a new sculptural technique and a turning point in the artist’s career.
Oral history interview with George Segal, 1973 November 26
Paul Cummings (PC) interviewing George Segal (GS)
GS: My family kept ramming down my throat to becoming a material success.
PC: Do something useful.
GS: Do something useful that would make money. And they always kidded me . . . I was always scribbling or drawing and there wasn’t much use to that. So school became a private place. After high school I spent a year at Cooper Union and Delevante was my drawing teacher.
PC: Oh, really?
GS: A small gnome of a guy who was poetic and exalted and made pronouncements that art was magical. And I thoroughly believed it and thought it was amazing to find somebody else in the world who had that kind of opinion.