Chosen by: Ian Thom, Senior Curator
“I first saw it in 1969, here at the Gallery. I was 17. It struck me powerfully. It was the 60′s. A time of race riots, war protest and turbulence in the United States. These bodies, strewn across the grass, are life size. You can’t see it in this photo, but there are bullet holes in the wall at the back. The Execution deals with issues of racial violence, and the struggle for rights and freedom. It shows how powerfully the human body can speak through art. Seeing this strengethened in me the sense that art can be a powerful tool of communication. And it is part of what put me on the path to presenting the magic of art to the public.”
George Segal, The Execution, 1967. Mixed media tableau. Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Diamond, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Diamond and Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Diamond. (c) The George and Helen Segal Foundation /SODRAC, Montral / VAGA, New York (2011) Photo: Trevor Mills.
The Execution will be shown in the Gallery’s anniversary exhibition An Autobiography of Our Collection, which opens in the fall.