At The End Of The Day will include new geometric sculptures alongside the artist’s signature wood cross-sections. Those familiar with Middlebrook’s work will recognize the new freestanding sculptures as three-dimensional line drawings in space; they are dimensional realizations of the geometric patterns and painted elements that have adorned most of Middlebrook’s plank paintings over the past decade. Towering eight to ten feet in height, these black, powder-coated steel sculptures are a fresh and exciting departure for Middlebrook.
This new body of work combines pieces in steel and wood pieces made up of various types of hardwoods. Inspired by nature, I’m drawn to make things that aren’t in the world but feel familiar. At the End of the Day is about being a working artist, getting up everyday and working in the studio. At the end of the day artists reflect and measure; with the work, artists invent their own language.
Living in the Hudson Valley, the natural world surrounds the artist and forever inspires his work. Middlebrook has long been interested in man’s complex and often adversarial relationship with nature. The colorful, straight lines and precise angles of his paintings lay over the historical, organic rings of the tree and create a juxtaposition that highlights the tension between man and nature. “My work is broken into two parts. The first is a skin that I lay over the top of nature,somewhat like a sidewalk or a parking lot. The skin is just visiting, it’s covering but respecting the borders it has been given. The borders in my case are the shapes of trees, the trunks and limbs are what I choose to make paintings on, the paintings become the skin. I respond to the compression of time and the organic shape that has grown. I respond to the order of the tree and the form that it became. The second aspect of my work is my reaction and interpretation of nature. In all cases the grain and the shape of wood dictate the direction of the painting which always starts with multiple drawings.”