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Alex Hubbard, Letter Phase 66-67

Alex Hubbard

Letter Phase 66-67 (2008/2011)

Alex Hubbard turns the surface into a field of action. In the first episode of his three-part video work “The Collapse of the Expanded Field” (2007), the American artist can be seen in a performative act: he throws a pink sheet over a white expanse and arranges a vase with flowers on it that he then smashes to pieces. He goes on to spray-paint the shards and plant parts black before pushing the whole mess aside with a walking cane. The whole process takes less than two minutes. Hubbard applies the principles of gestural-expressive painting to everyday objects, adding a decisive new aspect: whereas modernist artists such as Jackson Pollock and Georges Mathieu and even their postmodern successors, like John M. Armleder, in the end still worked to create self-contained compositions, Hubbard reveals that the very logic of the gestural or of speed ultimately permits only of temporary arrangements.

For Texte zur Kunst, Hubbard has designed two C-prints that constitute a permanent record of the results of his method. Yet the similarity between their colors and, even more forcefully, their materials lends the pictures a sequential aspect. In each image, a set of letters appears scattered over striped and monochrome fabrics. Since the characters and the ground are superimposed on each other and interpenetrate, the image planes can no longer be clearly defined. Still, the visitor involuntarily attempts to group the letters in words. In the first picture, the letters densely congregate around the center; the characters in the second picture, by contrast, are more loosely distributed, appearing to push outward toward the margins of the sheet as though in an explosion. And indeed, the letters B-O-M-B seem to emerge from the surface in this picture. Taken together, the two pictures thus form a sort of visual poem, articulating a process in time by abstract means.

For Texte zur Kunst, Alex Hubbard has selected two motifs from a series of photographic collages. Each of the C-prints, entitled „Letter Phase 59–60“ and „Letter Phase 66–67“, both 2008/2011, measures 38.1 by 50.8 cm, and is signed and numbered on the back. The work is produced in an edition of 60 + 20 APs, or 30 + 10 APs of each motif. Each motiv costs € 245 plus shipping.