Arlene Shechet: Still Standing

9 September - 15 October 2016 The Box

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery is pleased to present a new work made espeically for The Box by American artist, Arlene Shechet. This is the first time her work has been shown in London. Fluctuating between the biological and the architectural, Shechet’s dynamic sculptures defy easy categorisation by confounding notions of materiality. Shechet's presentation in The  Box coincides with her solo exhibition at The Frick Collection, New York. 


Discussing the work, Shechet explains: 'This work reflects the fragile times we live in. Though we anticipate physical failure when we first set eyes on it, its disparate elements actually hold it together. It is like a weaving, each part dependent on the other, the balanced whole teetering, threatening collapse but…still standing. Porcelain grids have been violated and abused, pressed to the breaking point, but they persist visually and structurally. As Rosalind Krauss has written, “The grid's mythic power is that it makes us able to think we are dealing with materialism (or sometimes science, or logic) while at the same   time it provides us with a release into belief.” Both logic and belief are sorely challenged in these uncertain days but Still Standing is an echo of my optimism.'


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 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 … 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, on view at The Frick Collection from May 2016 to April 2017, is 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 upcoming   solo museum exhibition opens at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. in October 2016.


Monographs of Shechet’s work include Meissen Recast, a book that focuses on her porcelain work at  the  Meissen manufactory in Germany, published by Gregory Miller in 2015, and an exhibition catalogue for All at Once, published by Delmonico/Prestel in 2015.


Shechet was featured in season 7 of PBS’s Art 21 in 2014 as well as season 4 of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Artists    Project in 2016. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2016 CAA Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work,  a John S. Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship Award in 2004, the Anonymous Was a Woman Artist Award and the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant in 2010, as well as several 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, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New  York,  Walker  Art  Center  Minneapolis, National Gallery, Washington DC, Brooklyn Museum, New York and the CCS Bard Hessel Museum, NY.