Friday, June 19, 2009

plaster meets buddha




photographs courtesy of Arlene Shechet

The work of Arlene Shechet caught my eye because of its gutsy use of materials and surface decoration. A fellow RISD alum, Ms. Shechet is a widely exhibited artist working with clay, glass, and plaster. Her work moves between the abstract and concrete, between figure and imagination. I am moved by her courage to put work out there that she needs to make, unexpected explorations of form and medium. Her Buddha series embodies tranquility with a hint of frustration, the serene figures splattered with violent color. There is a haste in their making, building out of hydrocal, a plaster that dries relatively quickly, a process contradictory to the subject. Buddha is all about patience and acceptance, Arlene Shechet is not.