Fellow: Awarded 2016
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
Michelle Segre is a sculptor working in Brooklyn, who has exhibited her work widely since the mid-1990's. Recent solo exhibitions include the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia (2016) and Driftloaf, at the Derek Eller Gallery in New York (2015).
Born in Israel in 1965, Segre moved to New York City in 1970, where she has lived ever since, graduating from the Cooper Union School of Art in 1987. In the 1990's she made meticulously detailed beeswax and plaster forms based on enlarged familiar objects such as bread slices and chicken bones, the decayed detritus of the every-day. Over the years, these forms became increasingly abstract and inventive, exploring a surreal, transformed sense of reality. In 2009 the work took a developmental turn as a new sensibility of improvisational energy emerged in which Segre introduced a more experimental and flexible approach to her process. Industrial metals, colored yarns, found objects, recycled remnants of past work and other materials co-mingle with papier-maché and plaster in explosive, free-wheeling sculptures whose intensity seems to be channeling an electrical current pulsating in space. In a review in Hyperallergic from 2014, John Yau writes, "Segre has quietly but forcefully staked out a territory that pushes both hard and smartly against the thing as a thing, the literal and rational approach that has been central to postwar American sculpture. Her interest in sculpture as a discrete object capable of transmitting and receiving occult information seems genuine…The simultaneity of order and disruption, organic and inorganic, growth and decay, seem central to Segre's motivation. Together, with the marriage of the formal and the imaginative, what distinguishes her art from that of her peers is the state of ecstasy she directs us toward."
Segre has had 18 solo shows to date, including the Derek Eller Gallery, New York; the Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles; Murray Guy Gallery, New York; and the Susan Inglett Gallery in New York. She has participated in group shows at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York; the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, CT; the Tang Teaching Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York; the Kemper Museum in Kansas City, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Colorado, amongst others. Recent solo surveys include the University Art Museum at SUNY, Albany; and the Cress Gallery at The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. Segre's work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Artforum, Time Out, The New Yorker, Bomb, New York Magazine, Los Angeles Times, and Vice Magazine, among other publications. Past awards and honors include a Tiffany Biennial Award (2001), an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2011), a NYFA Fellowship Award (2014), and a Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship (2016).
Segre has taught for many years as an adjunct at various institutions, including New York University, the School of Visual Arts, the Cooper Union School of Art, and Laguardia Community College. Segre is represented by the Derek Eller Gallery in New York, where she lives.