Roland Poska

Artist Statement

Roland Poska.    (1938-2017)

From a dry deckle edge of a handmade sheet of paper, 

the idea began to grow.

Perhaps everything in the universe, indeed the universe itself, 

is the result of forces forever meeting, or parting.

Where forces meet, or part. 

From this eternal process, 

everything springs eternal.

It is from what is unseen that everything manifests 

itself in continuous shifting forms.

We Meet, We Grow, And We Part.

From nothing to something, the first is incomprehensible, 

but, so is the second,

the process of creation.


Roland Poska was born in Scotland in 1938 and immigrated to Rockford, IL when he was ten years old. He received degrees from Rockford College and Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he was introduced to the mechanics of paper making. He later co-founded the Milwaukee School of Art and Design and taught there while simultaneously running a lithography print studio, Fishy Wale Press.  He is known for his paintings made with colorful paper pulp, often very large in scale and abstract in composition. Over his five-decade career, he explored themes of color, nature and egalitarianism on a monumental scale.

Poska was a nationally known artist by 1984, the year he received a commission for a 270 foot long painting for a federal building in Milwaukee. His work was the subject of over thirty solo exhibitions in his lifetime, including at the Rockford Art Museum, Rockford IL; Midwest Museum of Art, Elkhart, IN; and The Neville Public Museum, Green Bay, WI. His works are included in the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Milwaukee Art Museum.



Roland Poska pioneered the medium of handmade paper in contemporary art. Working with 100% cotton fiber and the purest pigments, he delivers large scale paintings and sculptures that toe the line between landscape and abstraction. Known for his infectiously positive attitude, he was an artist greatly concerned with the good of humanity and believed in a future world devoid of prejudice and violence. These themes intertwine with his paper pulp creations, which pull their viewers into a natural world of intuition and imagination.





1961                 BA, Rockford College, Rockford, IL


1963                 MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI





1974-1976        Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee, WI


1965-1974        Layton School of Art and Design, Milwaukee, WI


1963-1964        Rockford College, Rockford, IL





2019                 Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC


2018                 Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC


2012                 Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL


2004                 Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee, WI


2003                 Kortman Gallery, Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL


2000                 E.R. Tipper Art Gallery, Wichita, KS





1999                 Gruen Art Gallery, Chicago, IL


1998                 Midland Center for the Arts, Midland, MI

                        Syd Entel Art Gallery, Safety Harbor, FL


1997                 Carmichael & Carmichael, St. Paul, MN

                        Scarabb Art Gallery, Cleveland, OH


1996                 Gruen Art Gallery, Chicago, IL

                        Rahr-West Art Museum, Manitowoc, WI

                        Creighton University, Omaha, NE


1995                 Paine Art Center, Oshkosh, WI


1994                 Midwest Museum of Art, Elkhart, IN

                        Delind Fine Arts, Milwaukee, Wi

                        Gruen Art Gallery, Chicago, IL

                        Freeport Art Museum, Freeport, IL


1993                 Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL


1991                 LaPelle Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA


1990                 The Neville Public Museum, Green Bay, WI


1989                 Syd Entel Gallery, Tampa Bay, FL


1988                 Bergren Art Gallery, Rockford, IL


1987                 Delind Fine Arts, Milwaukee, WI


1986                 Gilman Art Gallery, Chicago, IL


1985                 Henry Reuss Federal Plaza, Milwaukee, WI


1984                 Gilman Art Gallery, Chicago, IL


1982                 Gilman Art Gallery, Chicago, IL


1981                 Lesch Art Gallery, Minneapolis, MN


1980                 Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ


1979                 Space Gallery, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI


1977                 Gilman Art Gallery, Chicago, IL



1976                 Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI

                        Inaugural Exhibition in New Bradley Wing





2020                 Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC


2019                 Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC


2018                 Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, NC





Beloit College Art Museum, Beloit WI

                        Chicago Art Institute, Chicago IL

Creighton University Collection, Omaha, NE

Freeport Art Museum, Freeport IL

Kasch Company, Milwaukee WI

Mayo Clinic Collection, Rochester MN

MetLife, St. Louis MO

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee WI

Northwestern University, Chicago IL

Quad Graphics Collection, Milwaukee WI

Racine Art Museum, Racine WI

Rockford Art Museum, Rockford IL

Scottsdale Center for the Arts, AZ

University of WI Collection, Madison WI


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