Alex Hubbard | the artist
The artist Alex Hubbard
Born 1975, Toledo, Oregon, USA.
Lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, .
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Over the course of Annotated Plans for an Evacuation (2009), on view on the Museums third floor, Alex Hubbard continuously alters the appearance of a used Ford Tempo. Whether spackling the rear tires, balancing a water jug on the engine block, or spray painting the drivers side windows, Hubbard approaches each task with a deadpan purposefulness. His process seems to follow a deliberate plan, yet each action ultimately appears to serve no larger aim than sustaining relentless activity…
Hubbard stages and documents performances that take place in his studio, the spectators point of view rigidly dictated by fixed shots. Moving over a flat surface, usually not bigger than the framed area and parallel to the camera lens, Hubbard spills, throws, splashes, punctures, burns, destroys and builds upon a surface that our eyes quickly convert from three to two dimensions. This conversion is what puzzles me the most. I know I want to know that what I am looking at is, in fact, performance: the artist (whose arms and/or body nonchalantly appear here and there) working on something in time and space, recognizable objects and physical processes…
In a previous exhibition at the Whitney at Altria in 2006, one of Hubbards video works had meticulously documented the processes of a methamphetamine fabrication lab. At Klagsbrun, he turns his hand to the more abstract processes of creation and destruction with several new videos and paintings. The latter are clearly derived from the former, almost as if they were artifacts recovered from the artist's more interesting work on the two monitors installed in the gallery. A monitor across from several paintings loops three videos from the Collapse of the Expanding Field II series, while a larger monitor, in a separate room prefaced by an oil painting of floating ribbons, displays two other videos…
Alex Hubbards videos are often shot from above, in one take, rendering their subject the artists frequently absurd doings urgent yet futile, awkward yet amusing…