Jason Middlebrook’s longstanding interest in the decaying landscape was all about “sustainability” before the word became part of our everyday vernacular. His paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations address the concept of living with less and literally build upon this strategy to convey that one can also be “alive with less.” Re-imagining discarded materials like cardboard and plastic bottles into provocative installations, Middlebrook essentially creates something from nothing. In his site-specific installationLESS, Middlebrook uses trashed and abandoned wood materials scavenged from the streets, alleys, and basements of Chicago to create a jumbled starburst of reclaimed wood in the gallery. The gravity-defying installation will be tension-supported as the arms of the starburst press against the gallery walls, each arm anchored with paintings and drawings further investigating man’s relationship with nature.
“Instead of making work about man’s misunderstanding of nature I am making work that embraces nature’s endless visual gifts and complexities of its processes. In the past I chose to comment on man’s fear and destruction of the environment. In recent years I’m more interested in a collaboration with nature, a deeper look at nature.” — Jason Middlebrook 2010
Jason Middlebrook (born Michigan 1966, and lives Hudson, New York) has exhibited extensively in the US and in Europe since 1994 when he graduated from San Francisco Art Institute. His work has been exhibited at The Aldrich Museum, Connecticut; The Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea Siena, Italy; The New Museum; The Whitney Museum; The Welcome Trust, London; and the Public Art Fund NY, among other institutions. In 2010 Middlebrook has two major commissions that will be completed, The Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago as part of the exhibit Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy curated by Lynne Warren.