Roland Wise (1923-2005), Interior 28H, 1993; Acrylic on canvas diptych, 57 x 98 inches; Gift of the Artist, 2002
The Interior World of Roland Wise
On View Friday, February 10–Sunday, May 21, 2017
The Interior World of Roland Wise is a snapshot of his series Interiors which harkens back to an exhibition presented at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in 1994. For the original exhibition, Wise’s friend and fellow artist, Robert C. Baeumler (1933-2013), wrote the following:
Room after room, visibly quiet on formal eddies, drift past your retina with their sensitive walls, flowers reaching for light and definition. In the chromos of these cones with memory full of vigor, these rooms wait with their glass and height amplified to clearings, perforated with tunnels that only a mirror can bring or are simply set into flight by a corner cut that makes a flat plane a cube. There is a phosphorus haze in these pictures, a solitude of chalk with a grain, silk over glass, air packed with quartz, marble dust and rolled out in isolation.
Whether presented in large groups, or as we have them here – as a focused selection – this statement continues to be a powerful and poetic introduction to the artist’s work. Baeumler’s text does not immediately describe forms, but instead the atmosphere presented in the paintings. At points Wise provides us with obvious doorways and at other moments unclear geometric forms. What is consistent is the emotion of the place. The artist takes the viewer, not to a geographical location, but to one that is a particularly comforting interior. His ability to wrap us up and not make us feel claustrophobic is his success.
Baeumler’s essay continues, providing us with more insight.
You are often not sure what these shapes represent though you are somehow prompted to search by the title Interior. The effort or search brings you into the room and you soon forget the attempt to identify and enjoy just being there with the color over color in thin layers that build to dense rich solids with spaces that glow and beckon you to their embracing substance.
This comment becomes our guide in viewing not just the Interior paintings, but all works by the artist Roland Wise.