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
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
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
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
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