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Big Shot

‘Arlene Shechet: All at Once,’ by Jenelle Porter

Dina Rudick/Globe Staff/Globe Staff

With a diverse output ranging from off-kilter vessels to statues incorporating Buddhist iconography, Arlene Shechet and her art defy categorization. Her abstract, polymorphic sculptures are dependent on chance as the mutable materials they comprise – like plaster, paper, glass, and, most notably, clay – turn to solids, often testing the limits of color, texture, and gravity as they set. These feats of form are on display in this book, a companion to the Institute of Contemporary Art’s current exhibition of Shechet’s work from the past 20 years, and accompanying essays and an interview with the artist give readers a holistic look at how her work challenges the conventions of ceramics and sculpture. Like Shechet’s art, “All at Once” is a bit comedic, a bit disarming, and wholly visceral and energetic. “Arlene Shechet: All at Once,” Prestel, 204 pp., $60