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Work Samples

The Intruder.jpg

1994, 120" x 120", oil on canvas

Adam and Eve.jpg

1991-92, 120" x 192", oil on canvas

Actaeon.jpg

1981, 95" x 82", oil on canvas

Family (Al Engelman).JPG

2000, 96" x 84", oil on canvas

Watercolors

Watercolor is great for travel. Watercolor in general exploit the accidental and the fortuitous. For example, the series done on wayward camping trips to Southern Utah tries to reconcile the unpredictable properties of the medium with the absolute audacity of the colors of the high desert. Seascapes reconcile rock to water to sky and icons of synchronicity.

Portraits and Figures

Some artists think that a likeness to the sitter is not important, so long as it resolves into a good painting. But for me likeness is tantamount. The expression of character or essence of the sitter is a most elusive abstract notion that the portraitist is trying to "capture". The painting is always going in and out of likeness. The trick is knowing where to stop it.

High Desert

The landscape of the West has always fascinated me since childhood, such as memories of the Saturday Western movies with Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy and later a two-year stint as a ranch-hand in Montana. The opportunity to paint the Southwest and all its monumental glory has allowed me to collate fantasy with observational verity.

Pastels

Pastels are pure color dustings, like the pollen on flowers, all glorious inspissated emanations dazzling the surface of appearance. These pastels were made along the banks and flats of the Susquehanna River where it joins the Deer Creek.

Narratives

My portraits combine into large operatic allegories — perverse, confrontational,vulgar — in which mythology and my studio on Calvert Street exist in a wacky simultaneity. Gypsies, dwarfs, nudes in boots standing by platters of fish cohabit a burlesque stage which is conjured out of the floorboards of my studio.

Flowers and Fish

The contrast of flowers and fish as subject matter describe the range and limits of my temperament, from surging lyrical energy to emboldened power, fraught with angst. Both seem to share in a kind of condensed painterly dishevelment that threatens to explode the convention of the motif.

Nudes

The play of light as it flows over the human body explores what is most basic to oil painting: opacities and transparencies all blending into a continuous seductive celebration. The rhetoric of flesh becomes a landscape of sorts where the singularities of truth reconcile with beauty.

Raoul's Curated Collection

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About Raoul

Baltimore City

Raoul Middleman was born in Baltimore in 1935. He has a BA in Philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, and has attended Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Skowhegan, and The Brooklyn Museum Art School. He has been teaching Painting and Drawing at The Maryland Institute College of Art since 1961. His... more

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