George Segal
American, born 1924, New York; died 2000, South Brunswick, New Jersey
Stacks Image 4867
Girl Sitting Against a Wall II, 1970
Painted wood, plaster and glass
91 in. x 60 in. x 40 in. (231.14 cm x 152.4 cm x 101.6 cm)
Purchased with funds from the Fiftieth Anniversary Gala
1972.20 a-c
George Segal used living models to create his sculptures. He wrapped them in plaster-soaked gauze and let the materials harden. He then cut the plaster away from the models’ bodies and reassembled the hollow forms. The resulting white figures seem at once life-like and eerily still—as though forever frozen in a mummified state. Segal’s sculptural “environments” combine cast figures with commonplace objects—chairs, tables, signs and wall fragments—to evoke specific emotions, memories, or moments in time. However, the uniform coat of white paint he gives this tableaux suggests a distanced or other-worldly reality. Slumped in her chair and staring straight ahead, her unidealized nude form is not erotic but rather conveys a sense of exhaustion or boredom.

Girl Sitting Against a Wall II was purchased from Sidney Janis Gallery in 1972 with funds from the Akron Art Museum’s 50th Anniversary Gala.  The sculpture may have been brought to the museum’s attention when it was on view in the exhibition White on White: The White Monochrome in the 20th Century  at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in late December 1971 and January 1972.  It was subsequently featured in the exhibitions The Spirit of the Creators at the Cleveland Jewish Community Center in 1974; George Segal Sculptures, which was organized by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York in 1978 and 1979; and The Window in Twentieth-Century Art at the Neuberger Museum at the State University of New York at Purchase in 1986.
A related work at the Akron Art Museum
Yinko Shonibare
British, born 1962, London; lives London
Stacks Image 5522
Gentleman Walking a Tightrope, 2006
Mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, rope
89 ½ x 122 x 45 ¼ in.
Collection of the Akron Art Museum, The Mary S. and Louis S. Myers Endowment Fund for Painting and Sculpture, Rory and Dedee O’-Neil Acquisition Fund, the Richard and Alita Rogers Family Foundation, and Museum Acquisition Fund  2014.50
A related work at the Akron Art Museum
Philip Pearlstein
American, born 1924, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; lives New York
Stacks Image 7416
Model with Legs Up, 1975
Oil on linen
72 x 54 in.
Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Purchased, by exchange, with funds raised by the Masked Ball 1955 – 1963  1980.46