Arlene Shechet with her installation Once Removed (1998). These works are mde from abacá paper and Hydrocal. Photos: Rhiannon Newman
Check out these behind-the-scenes photos of Arlene Shechet installing her Intersections project, From Here On Now. Shechet is a New York-based sculptor known for glazed ceramic sculptures that are off-kilter yet hang in a balance between stable and unstable, teetering between the restraint of intellect and the insistence of instinct.
Shechet in the staircaise of the original Phillips house with Deputy Director for Curatorial and Academic Affairs Klaus Ottmann. Photo: Rhiannon Newman
Deciding on positioning for Shechet’s Best Behavior (2014). Photo: Rhiannon Newman
Shechet and Ottmann with the artist’s Best Behavior (2014). Photo: Rhiannon Newman
In an adjacent gallery to the one pictured above, portraits from the museum’s permanent collection are hung salon style. Photo: Rhiannon Newman
In addition to her works on view in the second floor of the original Phillips house, Shechet’s ceramics are on view in a first floor gallery of the more recent addition. Shechet and Ottmann are pictured here with For the Forest (2016). Photo: Rhiannon Newman
Arlene Shechet installing Once Removed (1998). Photo: Rhiannon Newman
Pousttchi’s Double Monuments at the Phillips soar toward the ceiling as Tatlin’s did, but his model was symbolic of larger things to come. If constructed, his glass and iron sculpture would have been 1,300 feet (about 300 feet taller than the Eiffel Tower). The model was meant to promote “the collective” and (re)establish the visual culture of Russia. Pousttchi’s Double Monuments aren’t necessarily commenting on that idea, but much of their power and meaning is drawn from that history.
Pousttchi uses Dan Flavin’s trademark fluorescent tubes to expand that history. In the 1960s, American artist Dan Flavin utilized neon tubes to explore minimalism and the role of art in the gallery. Interestingly, he created a series responding to Tatlin’s monument. Pousttchi disrupts Dan Flavin’s minimalist language and places fluorescent tubes within bent metal crowd barriers. She simultaneously comments on Flavin’s homage and removes a key element of Flavin’s works; her fluorescent lights are not alone in a gallery space as Flavin’s are, but rather are enveloped by the skeleton of Tatlin’s monument.
Tatlin sought to usher in a new era of Russian visual culture and politics. Flavin was attempting to disrupt the idea of the gallery. Pousttchi comments on history and the work that came before to explore her own ambitions and artistic practice.
“There was a moment I had the idea to make these towers, so I transformed them more in a round shape, stacked them on top of each other so they look like these monuments to the Third International that Vladimir Tatlin did.” Bettina Pousttchi discusses her Intersections installation Double Monuments on view at the Phillips.