John Clarke on view at Sohn Fine Art

Berkshire Artist Shows in Lenox Gallery

By: - May 07, 2024


Sohn Fine Art is pleased to present “A is for Always”, an exhibition of mixed media by Berkshire-based artist John Clarke. Hanging one visual language on the balance of another, Clarke’s work combines photography, painting, writing and classical music. The show features Clarke’s paintings including his last remining “Alina” abstracts, works from his ongoing “Bridge” series of mixed-media photography, his “Drawing on Memory” series and new paintings. The exhibit shows the arc of his career and explorations as an artist.


The exhibit is on view May 3 – July 29 at Sohn Fine Art (69 Church Street, Lenox, MA). A reception will be held on Saturday, May 25, 4:00 – 6:00, with a reading of “Train Stories”, from John Clarke and John Robert’s freight train jumping days from 6:00 – 7:00.  John Clarke will be opening his studio to the public (date TBD). The studio is located in Housatonic, Massachusetts. Please RSVP Sohn Fine Art for the address.


This exhibition, “A is for Always”, draws on the building blocks of our ability to communicate through words. “A” begins the alphabet and our learned ability to relate to one another through words. “A” also represents simplicity - as easy as ABC. “A” is also the first letter of the word always. In Clarke’s words, “My life over the past five years began with and continues to revolve around the word always. Something that doesn’t fade over time and has been there for as long as you care to look back and will remain no matter what.”


Clarke merges a range of mediums that include paint, pastel, gesso, pencil, photography and music. Melodious and articulate, Clarke’s work draws on his background as a classical composer. His lines and symbols are directed by music as they float and interact in the spaces of his images. One of his first bodies of work was inspired by a neoclassical piece of music, Alina, by the Estonian composer Arvo Part. His Alina series exemplifies his style and use of color, line, and shape. At the time, an article in Rural Intelligence called him a “multimedia abstract master.” 


Around 2002, Clarke bought a camera and started revisiting the railroad tracks and train yards he had once explored to capture some of those memories. Clarke’s photography evolved, utilizing long exposure and gestural movement blur to create images that diffuse and abstract the world around him in order to spark an unknown journey into emotional and spiritual territories. In many of his works, there is a tension between what is revealed and what is obscured. He calls this “looking through the curtain.


Clarke’s artworks vary in character ranging from soft and meditative to bold and vigorous, providing a symbiotic movement and rhythm. His latest work combines mediums, using photographic prints or written stories as backdrops for emotional layers of line, color and symbol with acrylic, pastel, pencil and gesso to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Clarke’s most recent body of work, “Drawing on Memory” is a reinterpretation of his notes, journal entries, letters, sketches, and short stories from his days jumping freight trains throughout the northeast. His paintings play a game of hide and seek with words and gestural drawings, re-creating the narratives.


Often described as a “renaissance man,” Clarke is also the front man and a primary songwriter for the band The Best Times. He also has a solo album, All Beneath Our Train. He has written 50 short stories about his years jumping freight trains. Clarke’s work has been shown at multiple galleries and Museums. He was featured in the April 2011, August 2016, and September 2019 issues of The Artful Mind Magazine and the 2018 Autumn issue of ArtAscent Magazine (silver medal honor).



Event Details

A is for Always

John Clarke


May 3 – July 29

Reception Saturday, May 25, 4:00 – 6:00


“Train Stories”, a reading with John Clarke and John Roberts

Saturday, May 25, 6:00 – 7:00


Open Studio with John Clarke

Friday, July 12, 4:00 – 7:00

Housatonic, Massachusetts. RSVP to Sohn Fine Art for address.




69 Church Street, Lenox, MA


Follow Sohn Fine Art on Facebook:

Or on Instagram @sohnfineart