Albright-Knox - Table of Contents   ..........................    Albright-Knox Art Gallery- Official Website

Public Art - Table of Contents

"Underlife"
By
Jason Middlebrook
2012–13

Jason Middlebrook - Official Website (Online May 2015(

Steel, fiberglass, and tile
Approximately 360 inches (914.4 cm) wide   

Jason Middlebrook is interested in the literal and metaphorical decay of landscapes and the point at which nature and culture clash. Often using recycled or salvaged materials - which, to him, “have a history and still have a future” - he creates sculptural installations that re-render the natural environment. Throughout his work, Middlebrook questions the tense relationships humans have with nature and art. Although his work is a critique of these relationships, it is also a commentary on the beauty that surrounds us, even if we cannot see it.

Underlife is a large-scale sculpture created in response to the existing Frederick Law Olmsted–designed landscape that surrounds the Gallery’s campus.

Initially inspired by a tree that the artist uprooted on his property in downstate New York, it features a complex root system that has been dramatically lifted from the soil and propped on root ends. Having been removed from its natural, underground state and standing aboveground like a displaced, awe-inspiring underbelly of nature, the tree has its life force exposed. Amplified through scale and material, the root system becomes magical, shimmering with thousands of broken tiles. The tiles reflect the work’s surrounding environment - including trees, architecture, and viewers - through refracted light and color.

Viewers are invited to walk beneath the work, which towers like a canopy above our heads.

Jason Middlebrook was born in Jackson, Michigan, in 1966. He received a BFA from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1990 and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994 ... his work has been exhibited in public institutions from coast to coast and abroad.

- Albright-Knox: JASON MIDDLEBROOK   (online Nov. 2014)
 2015 Photos




















































Photos and their arrangement 2015 Chuck LaChiusa
..| ...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index... .|....E-Mail ...| ..