Jason MiddlebrookView All Work
Jason Middlebrook, who lives and works in Hudson, N.Y., gathers his creative inspiration from both nature and technology, transferring their complex relationship into sculptures, installations, mosaics, paintings, and drawings. His works are a delight... Mushrooms, stumps, benches of all shapes and sizes are molded and painted, larger than life and just plain fun. Many of the works are covered with mirrored tiles that glimmer in the gardens and homes of lucky collectors.
His work challenges the line between what’s artificial and what’s natural. When we encounter Middlebrook’s greatly modified wooden planks it’s sometimes hard to tell what’s man-made and what’s created by nature. His realistic mushrooms and tree stump sculptures inlaid with gleaming mosaics and broken glass, deliberately add to the conundrum- yet his intentions are not entirely cynical. Instead his work stands as an acknowledgment that it’s not always clear whether the materials we consume and use everyday ways can be considered truly natural or not. Our ecological handprints are, after all, everywhere.
Born in Michigan, Middlebrook earned a BFA from the University of California at Santa Cruz before pursuing graduate work at the San Francisco Art Institute. From 1994 to 1995, he attended the prestigious Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. Among many milestones, he was the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and his MTA public commission, Brooklyn Seeds, was named one of the Best Public Artworks in the United States. Middlebrook has exhibited his work extensively, at institutions including the New Museum in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, MASS MOCA in North Adams, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing, among others. A selection of public collections housing Middlebrook’s work include the Denver Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Microsoft Corporate Art Collection, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 2013, Middlebrook unveiled a major outdoor commission at the Albright-Knox Museum. In 2014 his work was exhibited at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, SITE Santa Fe biennial and the Savannah College of Art and Design.