For Immediate Release
July 12, 2022
Digital Images Available Upon Request
CLARK ART INSTITUTE OPENS NEWEST CONTEMPORARY EXHIBITION, TAUBA AUERBACH AND YUJI AGEMATSU: MEANDER
Exhibition is on view July 16–October 16, 2022
(Williamstown, Massachusetts)—Tauba Auerbach and Yuji Agematsu: Meander, opening July 16, 2022 at the Clark Art Institute, presents an exhibition pairing new works by the two New York-based artists. Presented in parallel galleries in the Lunder Center at Stone Hill on the Clark’s upper campus, the exhibition features two distinct—but complementary—artistic practices united by the notion of the meander, a self-avoiding line, as both motif and method. The exhibition continues through October 16, 2022.
“Yuji Agematsu and Tauba Auerbach are both vibrant and compelling artists, but in very different ways,” said Olivier Meslay, Hardymon Director of the Clark. “This exhibition looks at their work independently but challenges the viewer to follow the lines that connect them. Working on dissimilar scales and with varied materials, both artists imbue their art with minute detail while addressing big, cosmic questions.”
For Auerbach (b. 1981, San Francisco; lives and works in New York), the twisting, self-avoiding line of the meander traces global traditions of ornament as much as waveforms in physics and space-filling curves in geometry. The artist’s restless experimentation in a range of media produces work that is as rigorous as it is visually arresting: calligraphic drawing, infrared imaging, and large-format painting are all part of Auerbach’s complex and expanding universe.
For Agematsu (b. 1956, Kanagawa, Japan, lives and works in New York) and his practice of walking, collecting, and archiving, meander implies drift—both his own paths through the city and those of other people and things. Agematsu’s handheld sculptures are like small worlds, and the objects he finds—a foil wrapper, spent fireworks, a fishbone—interest him both aesthetically and anthropologically. Agematsu’s practice is both rhythmic and improvisational; his imperative is to keep moving.
In distinctive ways, both artists study the flows of matter and energy around us, oscillating between intuition and analysis, entropy and order, difference and repetition, and a vast range of scales. The exhibition publication, a special issue of the journal The Serving Library Annual, is themed on the meander more broadly, with contributors approaching it from archaeological, ecological, mathematical, narrative, neurological, and other perspectives.
“The meander is a classical ornamental form with global roots, but it is also a way of thinking and moving that yields rich artistic results,” said Robert Wiesenberger, curator of contemporary projects. “Seeing Auerbach and Agematsu side-by-side lets visitors appreciate two artists’ contrasting approaches to some common questions.”
ABOUT TAUBA AUERBACH
Tauba Auerbach studies patterns present at all scales in the universe in a practice that blends mathematics and science with art, design, and craft. In particular, Auerbach has focused on meandering lines and moves fluidly between varied media to interrogate their properties. As the artist has noted, these lines wind their way through human history and the natural world: known as meanders, frets, or keys, they appear in diverse ornamental traditions (ancient Mediterranean, Mesoamerican, and East Asian among them), but also as waveforms in physics, space-filling curves in geometry, and the helices of our DNA. Auerbach traces and transforms these lines in multiple dimensions; if they resonate with us, the artist believes, it might be at a fundamental, even cellular level.
Auerbach’s work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Astrup Fearnley Museum, and the Centre Pompidou, among others. The artist is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, and STANDARD (Oslo), Norway. In 2021, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presented S v Z — a seventeen-year survey of Auerbach’s work.
ABOUT YUJI AGEMATSU
Yuji Agematsu has, since the 1980s, taken daily, wandering walks through New York City, collecting small objects from the street as he goes. He is interested in the metabolism of the city and the habits and desires of its residents. The artist, who refers to his finds as detritus— he believes the term “trash” is too disparaging—sees New York as a place of profound pluralism and extends this same courtesy to things. Agematsu’s practice is both rhythmic and improvisational, like that of his longtime mentor, the free jazz and visual and martial artist Milford Graves (1941–2021); his imperative is to keep moving.
Agematsu has presented solo exhibitions at the Secession, Vienna (2021), Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius, 2019), Lulu (Mexico City, 2019), the Power Station (Dallas, 2018), Artspeak (Vancouver, 2014), and Real Fine Arts (Brooklyn, 2012 and 2014). He appeared prominently in the group exhibitions Greater New York at MoMA PS1 (New York, 2021) and in 57th Carnegie International (Pittsburgh, 2018). He has mounted projects or performances in New York at the Swiss Institute, Artists Space, and the Whitney Museum.
This exhibition is organized by the Clark Art Institute and curated by Robert Wiesenberger, curator of contemporary projects. Major funding for this exhibition is provided by Agnes Gund and Katherine and Frank Martucci, with additional support from Thomas and Lily Beischer, and Margaret and Richard Kronenberg.
ABOUT THE CLARK
The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 285,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark, which has a three-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide, is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Its 140-acre campus includes miles of hiking and walking trails through woodlands and meadows, providing an exceptional experience of art in nature. Galleries are open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Sunday, from September through June, and daily in July and August. Advance timed tickets are recommended. Admission is $20. Admission is also free on a year-round basis for Clark members, all visitors age twenty-one and under, and students with a valid student ID. Free admission is available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; and EBT Card to Culture. For more information on these programs and more, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.
Use of facemasks is optional for all visitors. For details on health and safety protocols, visit clarkart.edu/health.
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