Art Review, Richard Segalman, Six Dancers

5 Jun

Six Dancers

Segalman is a very classic American artist–he is not very interested in pushing visual language forward in some sort of abstract way, nor does he go for social situations, yet there is something that draws me to his art–you could say it’s nostalgic, many of the paintings seem to be from a not current time, though what time it could be you can’t put your finger on either.  Many of his paintings have to do with groups of people and the sea–this was one of the few ones that didn’t so maybe this is why it stuck out for me.

What we see are three couples all dancing in a line, probably in some dancing class.  The dress is nice but casual, and the room is completely empty (it doesn’t look like a high school dance for example.)  It’s funny, but for a good amount of people learning to dance has replaced actually going out dancing, which I find amusing because they often learn dances that nobody really does in any dance hall that I know of.  Can you still go out and foxtrot?

The pairings are intimate and awkward–the couple on the left in particular seem like they’re looking around for direction.  The couple in the center seem a little more certain and the last couple is surer still.  It looks like a progression almost, because the people get lost into dancing.  Notice how all the men have both feet flat on the floor while two of the women are dancing around them.  The center couple seems the most intimate–standing the closest together, the woman’s legs moving in a different direction than her body–even though the couple at the right seem better dancers maybe, their bodies are farther apart, and that teapot pair of arms sticking out make it seem mannered rather than passionate.

An interesting work, a work that is pleasant at the same time as rewarding scrutiny.

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