Arlene Shechet

Arlene Shechet is a sculptor known for her effortless combination of disparate elements, precarious and provisional arrangements, and boundary-collapsing visual paradoxes. With gravity-defying work that seems to tilt, contort, bend, and melt, Shechet’s sculptures appear to be set in motion while still, unearthing the expressive potential of material and forms and forcing us to sit with—and move around—its contradictions. Highly technical and yet entirely intuitive, her work embraces improvisation and seeks to examine the humor and pathos of being alive and in a body. Shechet has changed the landscape of ceramics since she began working with clay in 2007. Embracing the inherent duality in clay—its malleability and ability to hold still, its fragility and hardened strength—Shechet has led a resurgence of ceramic work in contemporary art through her experiments with glazes, hybrid forms, and pedestals by embracing risk, rejecting binaries, and leaning into—and driving dialogue between—the underlying tensions of not only form and material, but life itself.