Exhibition | Porcelain, No Simple Matter

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Caitlin Smits on May 26, 2016


Left: Royal Meissen manufactory, a pair of four-sided bottles with stoppers, ca. 1724, Collection of Henry H. Arnhold; photo by Michael Bodycomb. Right: Arlene Shechet, Three Hundred Years, 2012, © Arlene Shechet, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York; photo by Alan Wiener.

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Now on view at The Frick:

Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection
The Frick Collection, New York, 24 May 2016 — 2 April 2017

Curated by Charlotte Vignon

The Frick will present a year-long exhibition exploring the complex history of making, collecting, and displaying porcelain. Included are 130 pieces produced by the renowned Royal Meissen manufactory, which led the ceramic industry in Europe, both scientifically and artistically, during the early to mid-eighteenth century. Most of the works date from 1720 to 1745 and were selected by New York−based sculptor Arlene Shechet from the promised gift of Henry H. Arnhold. Twelve works in the exhibition are Shechet’s own sculptures—exuberant porcelain she made during a series of residencies at the Meissen manufactory in 2012 and 2013. Designed by Shechet, the exhibition avoids the typical chronological or thematic order of most porcelain installations in favor of a personal and imaginative approach that creates an intriguing dialogue between the historical and the contemporary, from then to now. With nature as the dominant theme, the exhibition will be presented in the Frick’s Portico Gallery, which overlooks the museum’s historic Fifth Avenue Garden.

Porcelain, No Simple Matter: Arlene Shechet and the Arnhold Collection is organized by Charlotte Vignon, Curator of Decorative Arts, The Frick Collection. Major support for the exhibition is generously provided by Chuck and Deborah Royce, Melinda and Paul Sullivan, Margot and Jerry Bogert, and Monika McLennan. A fully illustrated booklet featuring installation views and a conversation with Arnhold, Shechet, and Vignon will be available in July.

Additional information and images are available from Meghan Dailey’s piece: “Contemporary Ceramics, Up Against 18th-Century Pieces — Literally,” T: The New York Times Style Magazine (24 May 2016).

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