Painter, sculptor and teacher. Born in Jassy, Romania, of Jewish parents. Began to study at the Berlin Academy 1892. Moved to Munich in 1896 to become a pupil of Schmid-Reutte, and later of Hoelzel; afterwards studied in Paris and Italy 1902-3. Settled in Berlin in 1904 and exhibited with the Berlin Secession; helped in 1910 to found the Neue Secession and exhibited there with Nolde, Kirchner and the other Brücke artists. Made oils and woodcuts in an Expressionist style. Lived 1914-20 in Ascona, Switzerland, where he began in 1916 to experiment with optical equi-balance and episodic narrative painting. Met Jawlensky and Arp, and was in contact with the Dada group. In 1920 returned to Berlin, where he became a director of the Novembergruppe with which he exhibited until 1931. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Altmann there in 1920. Ran his own painting school in Berlin 1923-33; declined in 1925 the offer of a teaching post at the Bauhaus in Dessau. Made pictures with prismatic light or a Cubist structure, and relief sculptures, then in 1927 turned again to a naturalistic style. Emigrated in 1933 to Palma, Majorca, then settled in 1936 in London. Founded in London in 1936 the Arthur Segal Painting School for Professionals and Non-Professionals, which still exists. Died in London.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.677-8