Arlene Shechet: Girl Group

May 4 – November 10, 2024

  • As April
    Photo by David Schulze
  • Bea Blue
    Photo by David Schulze
  • Dawn
    Photo by David Schulze
  • Maiden May
    Photo by David Schulze
  • Midnight
  • Rapunzel
    Photo by David Schulze

Arlene Shechet: Girl Group brings together the artist’s recent work in wood, steel, ceramic, paper, and bronze with six new monumental sculptures created for Storm King Art Center. Through her signature emphasis on process and improvisation, Shechet (American, b. 1951) harnesses the expressive power of geometry, line, color, and form in works displayed across Storm King’s hills, fields, and galleries. The artist maintains a spirit of constant discovery as she mines the possibilities of multiple sculptural materials, experimenting with their capacity to hold color and light while creating form and volume.  
The exhibition centers on the translation of lyrical ceramic works from Shechet’s Together series, on view indoors, into robust, large-scale painted metal works outdoors. Shechet began her ceramic series during the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to convey a “strong sense of a life force that seemed to be gone during that time.” Each work is titled with a time of day or a moment in a season: a means by which to reflect upon existence amid the uncertainty of that period.  

Shechet calls the Together works the “generative seeds” of her outdoor sculptures. The new works expand the artist’s intuitive and handmade approach into towering constructions of welded metal. Over the course of three years, Shechet fluidly alternated between digital and analog methods of creation, extrapolating from elements of the Together works to invent new forms through an open-ended process of call-and-response. 

Outdoors, the hollow clay of Shechet’s ceramics transforms into open volumes of sheet metal, while the vibrant and textured glazes of her ceramics inspire an array of painted colors rarely seen in monumental sculpture. Shechet’s works incorporate nature as material, harnessing it through negative space and the use of matte and glossy surfaces to reflect and absorb light. Their shifting colors form a spectrum across Storm King, allowing visitors to identify a shared vocabulary over great distances. According to Shechet, “They’re all in relationship to the landscape and to each other.”  

The exhibition’s six outdoor works resonate individually but also come together as a chorus. With names like Dawn, Rapunzel, and Maiden May, the works in Girl Group announce their feminine presence, proposing a new direction within the tradition of constructed metal sculpture. 

Arlene Shechet: Girl Group will be accompanied by a robust calendar of public programs, including an outdoor performance produced in collaboration with Shechet.

The exhibition is co-curated by Storm King’s Artistic Director and Chief Curator Nora Lawrence and Associate Curator Eric Booker, with Adela Goldsmith, Curatorial Assistant.

Lead support for Arlene Shechet: Girl Group by anonymous, with additional support provided by Jody and John Arnhold, Allison and Larry Berg, Roberta and Steven Denning, Girlfriend Fund, Agnes Gund, and Wagner Foundation, and supported in part by Candace Carmel Barasch, the Helis Foundation, Lora Reynolds, Adam Sheffer, and SHS Foundation. Publication support provided by Pace Gallery.