Roland Poska | Sentinel

Presented by the Artist and Jerald Melberg Gallery

Location: Main Aisle

Jerald Melberg Gallery is proud to introduce the work of master paper maker Roland Poska (1938-2017).   Roland Poska was born in Scotland in 1938 and immigrated to Rockford, Illinois, when he was a child. He received degrees from Rockford College and Cranbrook Academy of Art, where he was introduced to the mechanics of paper making. He later cofounded the Milwaukee School of Art and Design and taught there while simultaneously running a lithography print studio, Fishy Whale Press.

Poska was a pioneer in the field of printmaking and papermaking and sought to extend and break the boundaries of his chosen medium. He landed on what he called “Papestries” or paper tapestries, which are featured in this exhibition. His process involved preparing five-gallon buckets of moist cotton fibers mixed with pure powdered pigment to achieve his desired color palette. He laid handfuls onto plastic sheeting and added elements such as handmade, sliced forms and coils. After drying, Poska would flip the panel over to reveal a flattened yet technicolor abstract composition. Many consist of multiple panels with intentionally rough and unrefined edges, a nod to the signature deckled edges of handmade paper.

His work was the subject of over thirty solo exhibitions in his lifetime, including at the Rockford Art Museum, Rockford Illinois; Midwest Museum of Art, Elkhart, Indiana; Milwaukee Art Museum and The Neville Public Museum, Green Bay, Wisconsin. His works are included in the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Milwaukee Art Museum.