Arlene Shechet is a sculptor living and working in New York City and the Hudson Valley. All at Once, a major, critically acclaimed 20-year survey of Shechet's work was on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston in 2015. Sebastian Smee of The Boston Globe wrote: 'It's in the harmonies and tensions between these colours 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...and ultimately unknowable.' All at Once was also hailed by The New York Times as 'some of the most imaginative American sculpture of the past 20 years, and some of the most radically personal.'
In recent years, Shechet's work has included historical museum installations. Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection, was on view at The Frick Collection from 2016–2017 in NYC, and was described in the New Yorker as 'a balancing act of respectful and radical' with 'whimsical beauty and deep smarts.' From Here on Now, Shechet's Intersections exhibition at the Phillips Collection was on view from 2016–2017 in Washington, D.C.
Shechet is currently working on a multi-faceted public sculpture installation titled Round and Round for Madison Square Park at 5th avenue in NYC. The installation will include large-scale porcelain and cast iron sculptures along with cast concrete, wood, and resin elements. Round and Round will reimagine a thoroughfare of the park as a gathering place that beckons people and sanctions interaction. It opens September 2018.
Shechet was featured on public television in PBS's Art 21 in 2014 (season 7) as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art Artist Project video in 2016 (season 4). She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2016 College Art Association Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work, a John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship Award in 2004, the AWWA Award and the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2010, as well as three separate New York Foundation for the Arts awards.
Shechet's work is in many distinguished public and private collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the National Gallery, Washington, DC; the Jewish Museum, New York; the Brooklyn Museum; and the CCS Bard Hessel Museum in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
Madison Square Park succeeds for that same reason. In one of the city’s most congested areas, it provide an oasis for the white collar workers and wealthy elites that have populated the Flatiron District for centuries. But ceramicist Arlene Shechet has little interest in padding this peaceful narrative with Full Steam Ahead, an exhibition of public...