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
“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.
(left) Lee Boroson, Fixed Haze, 2014. Photo: Lee Stalsworth (middle) Vesna Pavlović, Installation view of Untitled (Annex, Giacometti exhibition, 1963), 2014. Photo: Mica Scalin (right) Jill O’Bryan, one billion breaths in a lifetime, 2015. Photo courtesy The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
While it might not be immediately apparent, I see a similarity in the works by contemporary artists Lee Boroson, Vesna Pavlović, and Jill O’Bryan currently (or recently, in the case of Pavlović) on view at the Phillips. Through very different materials, all three are subject in some way to elements beyond the artist’s control. Boroson’s Fixed Haze (at left above, and on view in Intersections@5) dangles from the ceiling and might spin rapidly or not at all based on wind; Pavlović’s Untitled (Annex, Giacometti exhibition, 1963), a giant curtain which I wrote briefly about while it was on view in 2014, might show a distinct image or appear nearly transparent depending on sunlight; and as O’Bryan says of her work one billion breaths in a lifetime, this piece is best experienced when “activated” by observing the reflection as you move by it. Seeing these works at different points during the day or month has the potential to be a wholly unique experience each time.