Alex Segal, American (1945 - )

Alex Segal was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1945. He received a B.F.A. from Art Center College of Design in 1967, as well as a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the Otis Art Institute in 1970. In his teens, he studied at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. Segal’s work has been commissioned by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. His work is held in many private collections however he has always sequestered himself as an artist and so not sought to exhibit his work.

Segal is an ardent aficionado of classical music and this constitutes the backdrop for his painting. His art is indeed firmly grounded in classical values, e.g., draftsmanship, including a mastery of watercolor. In this regard his work is similar to that of Emile Nolde with whom he also shares an affinity for flowers, portraiture and landscape. However, his technique is more refined than Nolde’s, which is to say he is not primarily concerned with strictly expressionistic aims, though this element is present, but rather uses subtle handling of the watercolor to layer his imagery, creating images within images and worlds within worlds. This is clearly related to the digressive development of melodic and harmonic themes in classical music. In this manner his subjects frequently serve as a point of departure or arrival for the abstract aspect of his work. The forms in his compositions, be they representational or abstract, float in pictorial space and this evokes both a formal and metaphysical feel much akin to Kandinsky’s pre-Bauhaus style.

Segal has stated that he is not concerned with concepts or critical issues as content. His orientation is naturalistic, sensual, metaphysical, and aesthetic only to the extent that this facilitates expression of the foregoing.

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