To celebrate Max Middleton’s life through his art, a retrospective exhibition will take place this summer. A rare opportunity to see the artistic progression of a life’s work, how some things about style and subject have changed while others have remained central, and a few unfinished pieces that allow us to glimpse the working process. It will also be a way for those who wish to acquire a piece of his work as a means to keep his memoryalive.
Max Middleton’s exquisite draughtsmanship, his enjoyment of colour and its transparencies in paint and his imaginative printmaking skills were often focused on the human form, gestures and the emotions they convey, as well as animals and landscapes. In his words, art provides a means of processing deep feelings when words fail.” Wrought full of tensions and humanity, his evocative oil paintings are always exploring new terrain. His vibrant watercolours shimmering with expression. He said: My works are not ends. They are resting places of interest on that continual journey.
An inspiring and respected teacher during years at foundation and as a university lecturer, Max taught and mentored young and aspiring artists throughout his life. Max Middleton exhibited widely in the UK, France and Northern Europe, but his artistic career remained rooted in south east London. Thames-Side Studios Gallery is perfect for this tribute, next to the Thames-Side Print Studio which had seen so many of his prints emerging as well as the Education Space where he held regular life-drawing sessions.
Both the exhibition and accompanying catalogue is a testament to that journey of unfaltering and generous dedication that saw him encouraging other artists to develop creatively as another integral facet of his work.