Artist Projects

Arlene Shechet

Couple of

Jul 17 – Aug 28, 2022
'T' Space, Rhinebeck

(opens in a new window) 'T' Space is pleased to present Couple of, an exhibition of new works by Arlene Shechet. Following Shechet's recent solo presentations in Hong Kong and LA, the exhibition provides a rare opportunity to experience Shechet’s works in the Hudson Valley where the artist lives and works. The main installation consists of three sculptures, each executed in a different material: carved wood with steel, cast iron, and glazed ceramic. Together, the works reveal the breadth of Shechet's practice and her mastery of diverse mediums.

Shechet's works typically require heavy-lifting and involve “serious” materials yet are characterized by creative spontaneity and an effortless combination of disparate elements, often in precarious arrangements. Employing texture, color, materiality, and physical humor, Shechet's sculptures synthesize the logic of painting, sculpture, and collage into eclectic amalgams. Shechet's works convey a profound optimism and point towards imaginative material exploration and freedom of spirit as core meanings of art.

Couple of is rooted in the concept of couplets: the formal balance of symmetry, partnership, and the artist-artwork dyad are explored in sculptural language through schisms, junctures and mirroring. Poet Maggie Millner writes in the exhibition brochure:

“The fraught space separating any two forms is a place ripe for artmaking: a zone defined by multiplicity and betweenness where the individual ego might begin to yield to something else.“

One of the two large works in the exhibition, Iron Twins (for 'T' Space), is composed of two 650-pound cast-iron forms. Although made of cast metal, the sculpture retains material traces of the original plaster forms complete with tape markings and other imperfections transferred during the casting process. Mystery History, a totemic wood and steel sculpture, stands at over 7' tall, with a gentle lean that gives it a figure-like quality. Its height accentuates the verticality of the gallery and leads the eye upward to the last piece in the show: Together Again: May Monday, a small ceramic piece rendered in vibrant blues, greens, and yellows.

In addition to the works presented in the gallery, a fourth site-specific work is displayed outdoors on the nearby 'T' Space Installation trail. Spot Light is a high-fired partially glazed porcelain sculpture framed by two trees and the natural rock formations of the 'T' Space reserve. Through its placement, symmetry, and composition within the natural surround, Spot Light seamlessly merges sculpture and landscape.

Arlene Shechet is a multidisciplinary sculptor living and working in the Hudson Valley. Her work was the subject of a critically acclaimed survey at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston: All At Once (2015), which the New York Times called “some of the most imaginative American sculpture of the past 20 years, and some of the most radically personal. Other major presentations include Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection (2016) at The Frick Collection and From Here On Now (2016) at The Phillips Collection.

Shechet's work is held in many distinguished public collections, including the Brooklyn Museum, New York; CCS Bard Hessel Museum, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; The Jewish Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

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  • Artist Projects — Arlene Shechet at 'T' Space in Rhinebeck, Jul 17, 2022