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 MurthaFull Article
Voluptuous, brawny, delicate, precarious, magical.
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....
There is certainly a lot of ambiguity in art these days, as if our cultures no longer care to focus or even attempt to make sense out of anything at all. Shechet is different; she keeps chaos at bay while knowing that her subject is the poetry of unknowable and unspeakable places and languages.
- Bruce ThornFull Article
Shechet animates the objects, choreographing a dialogue across centuries.
- Leticia Wouk AlminoFull Article
Though these sculptures evoke the body through an elemental vocabulary, they also reveal the tremendous physical challenge of creation—most clearly evidenced when the work walks the tightrope between figurative complexity and palpable mastery. - Brooke Kamin Rapaport Full Article
I try to ... create the finished piece so it has the information of its making. Even though it will forever remain the same, I want it to have a whisper of where it came from.- Arlene Shechet in conversation with Jane DicksonFull Article
I like evidence of how the thing is made... I find that that actually makes something even more mysterious. To know more, strangely, adds mystery. I don’t even want to deconstruct that.
- Arlene Shechet, interviewed by Alex GreenbergerFull Article
In a delicate and controlled way, Shechet's sculptures look like beautiful accidents...the pieces all suggest deviations from something they once were, or were supposed to be.- Jurriaan BenschopFull Article
One day the lump I was working on appeared to me as a Buddha, and I realized that it was an ideal model for the state of mind I was cultivating...These pieces...were my first forays into figuration, and I came to understand that icons function as reminders.
- Arlene ShechetFull article
Shechet frees the medium from its servitude to the decorative, allows it to be matter again, draws it back to the body, and puts it in play as a sculptural element. ... The work is performative rather than narrative, resisting any sweet and tidy anecdote... Stories, after all, are civilizing forces, sculpting the raw and incoherent material of existence into a familiar shape. Stories are the process by which bodily sensation is rendered legible, and this is precisely the sort of domestication that Shechet undoes in her work.- Anya VenturaFull Article
Shechet’s sinuous pieces echo the cool colors, fluid washes and grainy texture of the Louis painting, while their hard surfaces resemble the more geometric style of the two Albers. The Noland is somewhere in between, which may make it the most apt counterpoint of all.
Shechet’s enthusiasm for Louis, Mondrian and Van Gogh — to name just a few — is easier to understand than her taste for Bess. But most of the links between the contemporary artist and her precursors are intriguingly tangled. That inspiration is no simple matter is one of the lessons of this multifold show.
- Mark JenkinsFull Article
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 HeinrichFull Article
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 SuttonFull Article
[T]he placement of a fluted bowl from ca. 1730 above Shechet's Scallop Bowl, 2012, a sculpture not from but of the mold for the fluted bowl–a neat integration of eighteenth- and twenty-first-century sensibilities, with roots in the process art of the 1960s, the interest in turning the making of art into art's subject.
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
The approach Shechet takes in the museums and at the Meissen Factory involves a negotiation between retrieval and up-ending.
In everything she does, Arlene Shechet brings an inclusive appreciation for what is left behind, a recognition of those who are unacknowledged, and an overall disposition to embrace whatever has been marginalized. She consistently avoids slipping into habitual forms of thinking and making.
This is some of the most imaginative American sculpture of the past 20 years, and some of the most radically personal.- Holland Cotter Full Article
Through recondite experimental processes, Shechet finds forms, colors, and textures for states of being that can approximate comedic collapse, gritted resistance, erotic exuberance, spiritual confusion, luxurious indolence, and private dismay.
It’s in the harmonies and tensions between these colors and textures, between suggestions of both order and anarchy, decay and blooming freshness, that these works cough, sputter, and sing. If they really are the great analogs to interior life that I feel them to be, it’s because Shechet knows that this life, expertly attended to, has its own folds and wrinkles, its own hollows and protuberances; that it is at once fugitive and monumental, characterized by strange, dreamlike changes of pace, unreasonable, asymmetrical, and ultimately unknowable. - Sebastian SmeeFull Article
[L]ike European Baroque and Rococo sculptors, [Shechet] 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 HirschFull Article
Rococo humor informs many of Shechet’s pieces. Saluting ... the alchemical search for gold that eventually led to Bottger’s discovery of the porcelain recipe, Shechet fashioned a wall-mounted arrangement of golden mirror glass blocks ‘to suggest the stone wall of the Frick’s Portico transformed into gold.’- Barrymore Laurence SchererFull Article
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 KapplowFull Article
Shechet is the first living artist to exhibit in depth at the Frick … the installation is a balancing act of respectful and radical.- Andrea K. ScottFull Article
I've always been attracted to things that are a little bit wrong or clumsy, or abject, along with them having humor. Clay as a material can sort of have a vulgarity to it, and working with clay can offer a lot of abject moments.
“Porcelain, No Simple Matter” [is] a radical and rowdy rethinking of the precious ... Unencumbered by formality, the pieces come alive.- Meghan DaileyFull Article
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 Full Article
We are invited to inhabit the interior lives of these stately objects in "Porcelain, No Simple Matter," which commingles twelve of Shechet's perverse Meissen-inspired works ... This is the most appropriate way to enter the summer—in splendor.
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 BuiFull Article
[Shechet's] lavishly asymmetrical, improvised forms—slumping this way, bulging that way—teem with references that are variously bodily, structural and cultural ... this exhibition shows her proceeding, as she has for the past decade, at full throttle, an example for all.- Roberta SmithFull Article
[Shechet's] experimental work in ceramics demonstrates a fierce aptitude for uninhibited, even overelaborate, sculptural form. Artists...are indebted to Shechet's ongoing interrogations of brash color, texture, and mischievous display tactics.- Michelle GrabnerFull Article
Brimming with knockabout energy, Arlene Shechet’s polymorphous clay sculptures...feel almost illegitimate in their sensuality and humor.- Thomas MicchelliFull Article
[Shechet] likes that there’s no easy way to describe her work, and that forms and impressions shift as you move around a sculpture. “By the time you get back to where you started, you see it differently,” she says. “I think that’s a metaphor—for everything.”- Hilarie M. SheetsFull Article
For more than 20 years, Arlene Shechet has practiced her own kind of alchemy on the act and art of sculpture ... Shechet’s intriguing offerings challenge, excite and never bore in ways that demand to be seen.
- Chris BergeronFull article
Among this year’s [College Art Association (CAA)] winners are Arlene Shechet, who had a critically acclaimed ICA Boston show in 2015.Full Text
Best known for her sculptures in ceramic and paper...Arlene Shechet has garnered a great deal of attention with her latest series of work: stunningly coloured, beautifully cast pieces that are a sort of amalgam of her two preferred mediums.
- Daisy WoodwardFull Article
Riffing on the venerable blue-and-white tradition ... Shechet adds to it smartly. To go a bit Greenbergian here, I think clay’s at its best when it talks about clay – or at least when it knows its history.- Blake GopnikFull Article
"Parallel Play," Arlene Shechet's luminous exhibition, featured what are best described as hybrids of paper-making and ceramics... As the viewer's eye moved among the brick and paper and clay, it was possible to imagine the free-flowing dialogues occurring between works as they evolved.- Elisabeth KleyFull Article
The sculptures present us with the riddle of a surface that appears to be a living membrane, both inside and outside at once, responsive to our shared environment, perhaps even to our regard. In Shechet’s work, the surface, or skin, is neither the site of disguise, nor mere honesty of artistic materials, but a communicative intelligent material.- Hannah HughesFull Article
Intimately brawny, th[is] show lets us in on the studio eurekas of an artist with energy and second-nature mastery to burn.- Peter SchjeldahlFull Article
[Shechet's] beautifully paced survey show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston, “All At Once,” gathers together two decades of deft, imaginative and fearless work.-Sascha Behrendt Full Article
It’s a pretty racy view of porcelain. There’s wit and lightness in the original Meissen pieces, but also a dark side. I’d love for people to see them as new information.- Arlene Shechet Full Article
Shechet’s works demonstrate that art gains life not as a static object but rather in the mingling of imaginations between artist and viewer.- Susan SaccocciaFull Article
"indicative of a tendency toward paradox--a kind of conceptual friction and texture in itself--Shechet's sculptures simultaneously belie and embrace the pleasure of ideas”- Paul RyanRead More
Shechet absorbs media and historical influences like an amoeba. Her ceramics explain up front why clay is an ancient metaphor for the creation of life. In her hands, the medium’s power as a shape shifter runs wild.
- Peter WalshFull Article
Shechet turned a variety of gnarly, curling, enigmatic (and oddly sexy!) objects into a convincing language of sculptural form.
- Jerry SaltzFull Article
Bulbous organic forms of clay, glazed in dark shades of slate, pale blues, and glistening sand, vie for the eye's attention... Shechet's abstract forms, reminiscent of sitting Buddhas, clouds and molecules gone mad...speak of an ease and familiarity with her medium.
Shechet’s brutally honest ‘portraits’ of the human condition are beguiling and ugly, funny and foreboding.
- Michael McTwiganFull Article
As an artist-in-residence [at Meissen]...what Shechet was attracted to most, however, wasn't the beautiful porcelain objects so valuable in 19th century that they were called "white gold." Instead, she was drawn to the heavy, earth-colored molds used to produce them.- Brienne WalshFull Article
I’ve always wanted to make something that is more than an idea. I don’t want it to be spoken about easily. When the thing reaches that liminal, hybrid, unknowable state, that’s when I’m happy, and that’s when I let it out of my studio.
- Arlene Shechet in conversation withJulie L. BelcoveFull Article
Best known for churning out anachronistic figurines and flowery dishes...Meissen has begun an artist-in-residence program to curb the crinoline and wake things up. The wonderfully fresh and irreverent results of one such pairing are on view in the exhibit “Arlene Shechet: Meissen Recast.”
- Maureen Cassidy-GeigerFull Text
This unbridled show—grotesque, hilarious, lovely—makes the strongest case for the exaltation of clay since the recent Ken Price survey at the met.Full Article
"Shechet's creations defy human nature in that they are not encumbered by the theoretical construction of beautiful forms; symmetry, harmony, balance-these pieces know no such conceptual restraints, existing as eternally open and revealed”- Kara RooneyFull Article