Segal Outside Everywhere

I opened a piece of mail this week from Locks Gallery and in it was a postcard announcing the opening reception for the gallery’s new rooftop sculpture garden on September 9, 5:30-7:30 pm. The image on the card is George Segal‘s “The Dancers” (bronze, white patina, 1971) which now sits in the treetop aerie overlooking Washington Square. The postcard image is beautiful and it made me start thinking about Segal again.

You may remember I’m not a big fan. Nonetheless, there’s something about a Segal piece outdoors that seems better to me than a Segal indoors. Why would that be? Is it the improbability of stark white in a technicolor world and sunlight? Maybe.



Then Thursday I was having lunch with my painter friend and sometime Artblog contributor Anne Seidman whose upcoming show at Schmidt-Dean I am dying to see. That show opens on Sept. 9, with a reception from 5:30-7:30 pm. (Seidman’s work is paired with carved wood sculptures by Susan Hagen, and I’m real excited about those, too. Both artists are in the Operation RAW show at the Icebox, by the way. Seidman told me she and Jeanne Jaffe collaborated on a piece — a topographical map of Vietnam with words added.)

After lunch, I’m strolling down Chestnut St. and just west of Independence Mall I see a mystery white thing nestled in the dark entryway to a building labeled One Independence Mall (street address 615 Chestnut). It’s a whatizit and everybody passes by without another glance. But I know it’s art. It just has to be.

And indeed it is. It’s George Segal again, outdoors again, and a block away from the now-outdoors Segal “Dancers” atop Locks Gallery.


The piece on Chestnut St. titled “Woman Looking Through a Window” dates from 1981 according to the plaque nearby. It’s a Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority Percent for Art production. According to the Fairmount Park Art Association website, a great resource for public art in Philadelphia, “Woman” dates from 1980.

I’m still sticking with my original opinion of Segal, although seeing the work in the great outdoors turns his people into rocks or architecture — and I like that thought very much.

(top image is Segal’s “Woman” seen from the rear; and left, is the object seen from the street)