In the Artist’s Studio: David Middlebrook
June 28, 2018 – October 21, 2018
Internationally renowned Los Gatos-based artist David Middlebrook is featured in NUMU's In the Artist's Studio exhibition series that invites visitors to experience a virtual studio visit of local artists. The exhibition presents an introduction to his work, creative process and life. Visitors will see Middlebrook’s sculpture, view art making tools and personal items, and photographs of private studio spaces, which are rarely open to the public. In David Middlebrook’s studio, and in his installations around the world, he brings to his art practice his life experiences, skill, imagination, passion, humor, history and, most importantly, the magic that occurs only in the artist’s studio.
Middlebrook’s studio is nestled in the hills of Los Gatos, surrounded by ancient oak trees. The building where he does much of his work is a large barn-like structure accented with unique salvaged windows. The space is filled with an assortment of supplies, tools and works in progress, as well as found objects, personal mementos and memorabilia from childhood. Middlebrook’s artmaking spreads outside into an adjacent open-air studio where huge pieces of stone and metal sit under the trees waiting to be transformed into large-scale, site-specific works that encompass all shapes and sizes.
NUMU’s In the Artist’s Studio exhibition series supports NUMU’s mission and success in being able to share stories in new ways. Most people do not have the opportunity to visit an artist’s studio and learn firsthand how artwork is made, and more importantly why it is made. Through this series NUMU offers ideas and insight into the practice of artmaking and shares with the community the ingenuity, intelligence and empathy that goes into the creative process. NUMU introduced the series in January 2018 featuring the studios and practices of San Jose-based artists George Rivera and Kristin Lindseth.
David Middlebrook is an artist who traces his roots to ceramics and who has evolved to become a professional sculptor specializing in site-specific work, and public and private commissions. David was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan and went on to earn his M.F.A from the University of Iowa in 1970. He became an inspiring pioneer in a ceramic art movement that was gaining momentum in the late 1970's. In 1974 he moved to California and began teaching at San Jose State University. In 1980 he was the visiting artist at the University of Darwin, Australia and in 1982 he took a similar position at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. His travels put him in direct contact with the respective native cultures of each country and their unique artistic vision of life. This exposure proved to be quite influential in terms of content as the primitive aesthetic continues to find it way into David's work to this day.
In 1983 he traveled to Northern Italy and discovered stone and it changed his approach to art forever. He has since maintained a professional relationship with a studio in Pietrasanta, Italy. His work today involves a broad range of stone marble and bronze and he has established himself as a specialist in large-scale site-specific work and collaborates with architects, design professionals, developers and contractors, completing approximately 50 public and private works including nationally-awarded competition commissions. David lives in Los Gatos and has maintained a Los Gatos studio for 45 years.
In the Artist's Studio is generously supported by the Borgenicht Foundation.
The Borgenicht Foundation works to promote the understanding of secularism as the way and hope for establishing peace in the world. In addition, the Foundation supports social justice, conservation and historic preservation, the arts, health, and education.