Have you felt wet clay or paint in your hands? #this weekend

Dark streaks across the surface like water on sandstone, or ink in manga. Tauba Auerbach says she will graze the wet paint on the canvas with a rounded tool to make these ‘quivering … emergent forms’ — she imagines her abstract paintings tracing the currents of temperature, like heat moving between water and air.

We saw her work at the Stone Hill Center on a hot, bright morning. Ben and Scarlet and I came to the Clark to absorb all three of their summer shows — Auerbach and Yuji Agematsu, and José Posada, and Rodin.

Rodin's bronze shows the heroic head of Pierre de Wissant, one of the Burghers of Calais.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Rodin's bronze shows the heroic head of Pierre de Wissant, one of the Burghers of Calais.

They form a contrasting trio, and I can almost imagine someone setting them to music — a Roomful of Teeth kind of composition, shifting with unexpected chord changes and tone patterns from times and places woven together, Brooklyn sidewalks and the Folie Bergère and a guitarist singing corridos in the plazas in Mexico City.

Rodin is here at the center, and his sculpture is rugged with tensile strength. His people often compel me. Some draw me in, like Psyche and Eros at the door, who seem to hold an honesty and familiar equality in their love … And some disturb me, because the more I learn about Rodin’s life, the less honesty I find in his relationships.

Looking at Auerbach’s work now, a few steps uphill from his, I’m remembering the way the sculptor Camille Claudel’s first biographer, the journalist Matthias Morhardt, described her art. Claudel’s work is here too this summer, in Rodin’s show, and her life is here in the reading room the museum has created this summer.

Morhardt, who knew her, found light and shadow and movement in her work, “gnarled, furrowed … deep and dramatic …” still showing the touch of her hands.

This weekend …

Rodin’s bronzes of Hanako, the Japanese performer Ohta Hisa, and John the Baptist, Yuji Agematsu’s microcosms of found objects and Tauba Auerbach’s abstract paintings all appear at the Clark Art Institute this summer.

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Milkweed opens seedpods in the meadow at Williamstown Rural Lands.
Oct 1 2022 @ 10:00 am
Mass Audubon will explore trees and changing autumn foliage at four of their Connecticut River Valley, hilltown, and Berkshire sanctuaries.
Fall color reflects on the river along the Housatonic Rail Trail.
Oct 1 2022 @ 10:00 am
Berkshire Camino will take a woodland stroll from Chesterwood, Gilded Age home and studio of Daniel Chester French, the sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial.
Ephraim Birney stars with his father, Reed Birney, in Chester Bailey at Barrington Stage Company.
Oct 1 2022 @ 2:00 pm
Boy meets girl. Boy uses wheelchair, girl uses wheelchair. Boy and girl use text-to-speech technology to connect to each other and the world around them.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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