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Richard Segalman

Work
Biography
Richard Segalman (b. 1934, Brooklyn, NY) began his career in the early 1960s working with watercolors and oils, although he is best known for his monotypes that depict unidentifiable women depicted in a soft color palette. While the faces of his characters are nondescript, Segalman allows their clothing and physical positions to communicate their feelings and relationships.

Segalman’s romantic realist paintings, largely executed in watercolor, oil, or pastel, feature anonymous figures in domestic settings, on beaches or before city architecture. The son of a milliner, Segalman demonstrates a real eye for depicting intimate vignettes of women’s clothing. His oeuvre is punctured by billowing skirts on the beach, fine dresses in the city or dressing rooms overflowing with various fabrics and patterns.

Color and the depiction of light is essential to these early works. Segalman’s shift to monotype occurred more than 30 years into his career, and introduced the absence of color into his later works. The unpredictable, accident-prone, experimental nature of the monotype intrigued him as it pushed him to return to a drawing quality. As Segalman himself put it, “I’m attracted to this medium because it requires more spontaneity and represents a new loss of control, a loss that feels more connected with the limitlessness of the elements.”

The expressionless faces and pastel palette employed by Segalman are reminiscent of the works of the Impressionist movement, though he depicts his models with an affection that Impressionism lacks. More than anything else, Segalman has found a way to capture the true beauty of a contemplative moment shared by two or three people in an intimate environment.

Segalman’s work is in numerous prominent museum collections, including the Bass Museum, Miami, Fl; Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL; Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH; Canton Art Institute, OH; Dayton Art Institute, OH; Harvard University, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, MA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart, IN; Millersville State College, PA; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN; Montclair Art Museum, NJ; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburg, FL; Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, FL; Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL; New Paltz College Museum, NY; St. Louis Art Museum, MO; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Loretto, PA; Syracuse University Museum, NY and the Tampa Museum of Art, FL.

In 2015, Mary Ryan Gallery held a solo exhibition of Segalman’s monotypes.

Segalman has most recently included in solo and group exhibitions at the Woodstock School of Art  (2019) and the Polk Museum of Art (2017).

In 2015, the monograph “Richard Segalman: Black & White: Muses, Magic & Monotypes” was published by The Artist Book Foundation in Winter.