So and So and So and So and On and On (detail), 2010.

Arlene Shechet: Body-to-Body Experience

Arlene Shechet seems to be having a moment. “All At Once,” a 20-year survey of her work at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, received critical acclaim last year. “Slip” (2013), a solo show at Sikkema Jenkins in New York, also caused a stir. And her works have recently been acquired by several major museums, including the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Princeton University Art Museum, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Tellingly, exhibitions are now planned for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2016), the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC (2016), and the Jewish Museum in New York (2017). So why has it taken until now for Shechet to become a marquee name? The answer may lie in her signature material—ceramic—and a longstanding institutional queasiness about how best to classify fired clay. A ceramic object can be catalogued as a contemporary sculpture or a hoary riff on a vessel, destined for a decorative arts collection. But beyond problems of categorization, Shechet’s lack of recognition follows a time-worn pattern. …see the entire article in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.