Counter Culture: Nasher revists NYC diner
After a taste of nostalgia at Highland Park Pharmacy, head to down-town
Dallas and check out another counter setting, this one on view through
April 5 at the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Diner, one of 15 sculptures
in George Segal: Street Scenes, depicts a customer and a waitress at
the counter of an otherwise empty New York City diner, each seemingly
oblivious to the other.
Such disengagement was a common theme in sculptor George Segal’s
exploration of urban life. For more than 30 years, Segal (1924-2000)
created life-size plaster models of people and placed them in everyday
situations, such as crossing a street or riding a bus. In the case of
The Diner, everything in the physical environment—from the floor to the
fluorescent light hanging overhead—was salvaged from a real diner. A
glass sugar dispens-er is placed on the countertop.
“Segal established these theatrical scenes with actual backdrops from
real life and plaster casts of actual people,” says Jed Morse, the
Nasher’s acting chief curator. “They evoke human stories, whether it’s
a customer sitting alone at a diner or a group of people trudging home
from work with the weight of the world on their shoulders.”
After touring the center, stop by the Nasher Cafe and sample the new
menu items created by Wolfgang Puck, such as turkey-black bean chili
and an apple-Brie-chicken sandwich.
From the April 2009 issue.
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