Raoul Middleman: A Life Well Painted

Troika Gallery is proud to announce the opening of “Raoul Middleman, 1935-2021 – A Life Well Painted” on June 3, First Friday. An exemplary American painter known for his provocative and prolific work, Raoul had an intimate relationship with Troika for 25 years. His megawatt personality and encyclopedic knowledge of painting placed him among the finest of American artists. The art world was saddened to learn of his passing last December. There will be a reception on First Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. where several members of Raoul’s family will be attending.

“Cedars,” by Raoul Middleman

Raoul was instrumental in the early days of Troika Gallery, inspiring Laura Era, Dorothy Newland and Jennifer Heyd Wharton in creating the gallery in 1997. The four artists had a wonderful friendship and Raoul frequently visited Troika for an energizing talk, a painting demonstration, or just to see “the Troika Gals.”

Known for figure studies, landscapes and still lifes, Raoul’s work depicts the gritty underside of life. “People think landscapes are bees and flowers. I like marginality. I like things on the edge – the forgotten artifacts, the partially-legible vitality. I set up and paint right on the spot. My paintings are all about being there,” Raoul would comment.

“The Red Container,” by Raoul Middleman

His paintings hang in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, and The Baltimore Museum of Art, as well as other prominent privately held collections across the country.

American University Museum described Raoul as a “Baltimore maestro whose nudes are not pretty – they are sagging, dimpled, and real. His cityscapes reveal the underbelly of post-industrial rot, his narrative paintings give contemporary life to his personal obsessions. They are intelligent, messy, and utterly masterful.”

Raoul had a degree in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Skowhegan School of Painting and The Brooklyn Museum Art School. He was an established artist in New York City and Paris. Raoul returned to Baltimore, his native city, where he and his artist wife Ruth raised a family. Since 1961, Raoul served as a faculty member of the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has been a mentor and teacher to many artists, including oil painter, Kevin Fitzgerald of Troika Gallery.

Whether an art collector, art lover, or an art browser, Troika Gallery encourages everyone to stop in and see Raoul’s oil paintings. Professional artist and owner, Laura Era, along with Gallery Manager Peg Fitzgerald, welcome a visit and will happily address any questions on art and tell wonderful stories of Raoul.

“Raoul Middleman, 1935-2021 – A Life Well Painted” will run through August 29. Located at 9 South Harrison Street in Historic Downtown Easton, Troika is open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. and by appointment. For details, call 410-770-9190 or visit www.troikagallery.com.

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