Robert Raack

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Robert Raack (born in Akron, Ohio June 10, 1950) is an American painter. The artist lives and works in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.


At an early age Raack moved with his family to Tallmadge, Ohio where his first experiences with art began. By the age of fifteen his youthful passion for painting from life had already brought him in contact with other professional artists in the region where he earned recognition from the surrounding community and won numerous awards for his artwork.

As an exhibiting professional artist, Raack’s artwork has been selected for inclusion and won awards in numerous regional, national and international exhibitions.


Raack moved to Cleveland the summer of 1968 after graduating from Tallmadge High School to take summer courses at Cooper School of Art on a full Scholarship. That fall he moved to Chicago on the day of the historic Democratic National Convention and began a year of foundation studies at the American Academy of Art on another full scholarship. The following year Raack returned to Cooper School of Art on an extended scholarship to major in Illustration, graduating in 1971. Later on he attended Kent State University on a Graduate Assistantship, majoring in painting, where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1981.

Art work / Context, style & vision[edit]

Observational figure painting has enjoyed a long tradition that includes works by the famous Dutch painters Rembrandt and Vermeer, the famous French painters Cézanne and Matisse, the great Italian painter Giacometti, and the famous American figurative painters John Singer Sargent and Andrew Wyeth. A resurgence of observational figure painting occurred at the end of the 20th century with British artists Euan Uglow and Lucian Freud. It is in this tradition that Raack continues to contribute to the realm of observational figure painting with his own distinctive vision.

Raack’s alla-prima style of painting comes from a confidence grounded in the actual experience of observations from life.[1] From Raack's website, "It is the life, clarity and presence of information in the moment that informs my creative process".[2] One discovers in his work an ability to convey how the surrounding environment influences and supports existing objects and how the existence of those objects affect the surrounding environment; this reciprocal interaction is loaded with physical and psychological aspects that enliven the visual quality of his artwork. The value of his work is not merely found in the convincing representations of people, objects or places, but more in its ability to convey his perceptions of an interactive space. Mr. Raack paints strictly from direct observation, using a full range of colors to construct spatial relationships with the aim of forming images that convey a sense of continuity, luminosity, solidity and clarity.

List of exhibitions[edit]

Raack's paintings have been exhibited at many local and national art shows and galleries.[1][3][4][5] He has won many awards for his work, including the Ohio Watercolor Society, xxx, and yyy.[1][6][7] In addition, he has been commissioned for many works locally and nationally, and his paintings are in collections throughout the United States and Canada.[1][8][9]

Local exhibitions[edit]

  • Fawick Gallery / Baldwin Wallace College
  • Lakeland Community College / Fine Arts Gallery

Regional exhibitions[edit]

  • McDonough Museum of Art
  • University of Akron / Emily Davis Gallery
  • Crandall Gallery / Mount Union College
  • Mansfield Art Museum
  • Watercolor Ohio / Two Bronze Medals
  • Art Space

National exhibitions[edit]

  • Adirondacks National Exhibition of Watercolors / Old Forge Art Center
  • Gallery West / Cuyahoga Community College
  • Springfield Art Museum / Watercolor USA
  • Butler Institute of American Art / National Midyear Exhibition

International exhibitions[edit]

  • Lancaster Museum / Transparent Watercolor Society of America
  • Elmhurst Art Museum / Transparent Watercolor Society of America
  • Chautauqua Annual Exhibition of American Art


In addition to being an artist, Robert Raack is also a teacher, having first taught at Cooper School of Art from 1973–1978, the University of Akron from 1981 to 1986, and also in the two-year Foundation Program at the Cleveland Institute of Art, 1983 - 2004. He currently teaches courses in Drawing, Life Drawing and Two-Dimensional Design for Youngstown State University, in addition to art courses for Baldwin Wallace College.

Raack taught drawing, painting, and two-dimensional design for seven years at Interlochen Center for the Arts. He has been team-teaching a summer Landscape Painting Workshop at The Leelanau School for the past fifteen years.[1][7]

Raack has also taught various community art classes in the Cleveland area.[9][10]


External links[edit]

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