The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include Golden Age Dutch painting; new ceramics; several orchestral concerts; Grammy Award-winning Americana; and a whole lot more.
An exhibition of hand-thrown porcelain by Berkshire-based artisan Daniel Bellow goes on view in the BerkshireNow gallery space at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Mass., tonight with a free opening reception from 5 to 8pm. The work by the accomplished potter, remarkable for its exquisite glazes and intriguing textured surfaces, remains on display through Monday, May 22. For this solo exhibition, Dan Bellow has created sculptural forms in porcelain and imagined a detailed scenario about their origin. According to Bellow’s backstory, scale models of rocket ships, supposedly created during the Song Dynasty in China at the command of Emperor Gaozong, have recently been discovered by archaeologists. The unique sculptural “rocket ships” in the exhibition echo the work of the Song dynasty potters, whose smooth, dense porcelain ware was praised for its simplicity of shape and understated decoration.
Pianists Peter Serkin and Anna Polonsky join forces with the Berkshire Symphony to play the Bach Double Concertos in C Minor and C Major in a free concert in Chapin Hall at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., tonight at 8pm. The Symphony will also perform Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.”
The Orchestra Now, under the baton of Zachary Schwartzmann, performs works by Tchaikovsky, Messiaen, and Glinka at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, Mass., tonight at 7:30pm, in a free concert in the Daniel Arts Center. The Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4; Messiaen’s “L’Ascension”; and Glinka’s Overture from “Ruslan and Lyudmila.”
Rhiannon Giddens - best known as the lead singer, violinist, banjo player, and cofounder of Carolina Chocolate Drops – celebrates the release of her brand-new solo album, “Freedom Highway,” with the aid of legendary Appalachian musician Dirk Powell, at Club Helsinki Hudson tonight at 9pm.
Radical Small, a solo exhibition combining small sculptures and large videos by Elizabeth King, goes on view at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass., on Saturday. An opening reception takes place on Saturday, March 18. In the exhibit, King examines the notion of radical smallness, or what French philosopher Gaston Bachelard has called, “intimate immensity.” King combines precisely movable, half-scale figurative sculptures with projections of stop-motion video animations, in works that skillfully merge and confuse the boundary between actual and virtual objects. The work reflects King’s interests in early clockwork automata, the history of the mannequin, puppetry, and literature’s host of legends in which the artificial figure comes to life.
An Inner World: 17th-Century Dutch Genre Painting goes on view at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. on Sunday. The exhibition brings together paintings from the Clark and The Leiden Collection, among the largest and most important private collections of Dutch Golden Age paintings in the world. The exhibition features seven exceptional genre paintings by Dutch artists working in or near the city of Leiden in the 17th century.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com