Shechet works with a fondness for process and material qualities; things do not disguise themselves, there are no pretensions: clay forms behave as clay forms, glazes look like glazes, wood looks like wood and steel doesn’t pretend to be anything but steel. But on a different level, the artist works at making sure that the forms offered are indefinable, unknowable open questions and mysteries. - Bruce Thorn
Arlene Shechet’s craggy sculptures might not seem an ideal fit for the Phillips Collection, known for its sunny Renoir and serene Rothkos. The New York artist’s creations are whimsical and wildly asymmetrical, a riot of shapes and textures. Squares, circles and tubelike projections stud the somewhat organic forms, and assure that the pieces appear different from every possible vantage. - Mark Jenkins
When I saw this pristine exhibition, I immediately wanted to write about it, but about five seconds later I realized that there was almost no way to write about such smartly executed and potent sculptures without lapsing into babbling nonsense. - Benjamin Sutton
Here, Shechet continues to transcend the materiality and conventions that have characterized and burdened ceramics for so long. There is little reason to think she will not accomplish the same with wood. - Chris Murtha
Using these off-kilter constituent parts, Ms. Shechet has constructed what amount to 18 diagrams of cognitive dissonance — or of just how complicated the world is. - Will Heinrich
Sculptor Arlene Shechet sits down with host Will Corwin to discuss the wide range of her current exhibitions: Porcelain, No Simple Matter, on view through April 4, 2017, at The Frick Collection, Turn Up the Bass at Sikkema Jenkins & Co, and From Here On Now at Phillips Collection in Washington DC, through May 7, 2017.
Artists on Artworks—Arlene Shechet : See The Met collection through artists' eyes. Each artist discusses works of art in the collection that hold personal meaning or relevance to his or her artistic process.
Her installation devices, too - her placement of objects not just in but on and underneath her vitrines, for example - recall her interest in the base on which a sculpture stands. There is much to be thought about in this marriage of a traditional industry with a contemporary artist's concerns. - David Frankel
“Porcelain, No Simple Matter” [is] a radical and rowdy rethinking of the precious ... Unencumbered by formality, the pieces come alive. - Meghan Dailey
Shechet’s inventive and idiosyncratic installation in the Frick’s light-filled portico gallery ... and the dialogue it sparks between classicism and improvisation, nature and art, luxury goods and the processes of industrial production, brings these historic works vividly to life as never before. - Leslie Camhi
Oh but to be a Royal Meissen porcelain, handled with the most tender of care and on lofty display, in Henry Clay Frick’s magnificently appointed mansion. We are invited to inhabit the interior lives of these stately objects in “Porcelain, No Simple Matter:
[L]ike European Baroque and Rococo sculptors, she is drawn to spirals and vortices, imparting to her works an often wild drama. To experience her sculptures properly, one must walk around them more than once, for odd gravities and complex surfaces impart multiple identities. - Faye Hirsch
One feels there’s a complete embrace of the bodies of all things—humans, animals, vegetables, landscapes, architecture, and so on—which are drenched with [Shechet's] reconciliation of multiplicity, fragmentation, and change.-Phong Bui
The intelligence [that she brings to the form] seems almost bacterial to me ... these works metaphorically and literally digest and ferment all of the things that they’ve stood on while being developed—including the trial and error, the accidents of their own histories, and the histories of pieces that came before them. - Heather Kapplow
In her latest, largely terrific exhibition, Arlene Shechet continues to expand upon the ceramic vessel as a one-stop art medium that combines painting and sculpture while pushing her work in increasingly diverse directions... Read More
A very good, still-under-known mid-career sculptor, Shechet makes forceful painted, glazed, and raw primal shapes of clay and porcelain set on almost Cubistic primary forms. Read more