Meyer Schapiro

George Segal American

Not on view

Segal’s admiration for the renowned art historian Meyer Schapiro (1904–1996) is evident in this sensitive bas-relief portrait, in which the subject seems to actively emerge from the plaster, eyes closed in meditative contemplation. This otherwise sober portrait is transformed through color: the background and the body are painted in a brilliant blue, and even the face and hands, while painted naturalistically, are glazed with a light wash of the same azure tint. Segal was drawn to the chromatic and historically symbolic possibilities of blue: he considered it a subtle and sensitive color whose transparency could reveal layers of form and meaning, and thus a particularly apt hue for his intellectual mentor.

Meyer Schapiro, George Segal (American, Bronx, New York 1924–2000 South Brunswick, New Jersey), Painted plaster

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