Sam Middleton: Gerald Peters Contemporary 24 East 78th Street New York, until February 25, 2017.
SAM MIDDLETON (American, worked in The Netherlands, 1927 – 2015)
Sam Middleton was represented in 2015 in America Is Hard To See, the inaugural exhibition in the Whitney Museum’s new venue on Gansevoort Street in New York City. Middleton in the 1960s established himself as one of The Netherlands’ premier artists. Throughout his career, the Harlem, N.Y., native’s abstracted collages and prints with representational elements have been inspired by jazz, though the Dutch landscape also provided an impetus.
London Bridge, 1981.
Nocturnal Beat, 1984.
In the early 1950s, Middleton was part of New York’s Cedar Tavern scene. In 1955 he moved to Mexico, then Spain, Sweden and Denmark, settling in The Netherlands in 1961. Middleton was part of the considerable contingency of expatriate African-American artists in Europe. In the late 1950s-early 1960s, he regularly was included in American exhibitions, including at New York’s Whitney Museum and Brooklyn Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Fine Art. From Europe, he sustained his reputation in the United States, resulting in his inclusion in several prominent books on African-American art. Middleton’s work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum, Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., the Hampton (Va.) University Museum and Washington, D.C.’s Howard University. His work is in museums in Australia, Israel and The Netherlands, including Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum and Venlo’s Van Bommel Van Dam Museum, which in 1997 organized a Middleton retrospective. Middleton was represented in America Is Hard To See, the inaugural exhibition in the Whitney Museum’s new venue on Gansevoort Street in New York City.