Acting as an integral asset to the fine arts community in Buffalo, NY over a span of more than fifty years, Roland Wise (1923-2005) seemed to always border the line between master instructor and artist. Known as “a painter’s painter,” Wise experimented with and researched his own techniques. He passionately studied and understood the acute details of the materials he used and depicted and then created works of art that reflected his experiences, emotions and curiosity as well as his desire to subtly imply objects and atmosphere.
Roland Wise was a professor of fine arts at Buffalo State College for more than 35 years, retiring in 1992. He taught painting and drawing, and served as department chairman during his tenure. He also served on the art faculty of the Jewish Community Center. Wise served in the Army Air Force’s air transport command as a radio operator in Europe and the Pacific during and after World War II. Later, he attended schools in Brooklyn and in 1949 earned a diploma in commercial and fine arts from the Art Students League in New York and then started a commercial art studio with two friends. In 1955 he received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where he started teaching at their newly established School of Art. Wise came to Buffalo in 1955 to join the faculty of Buffalo State College. In 1958 he earned a master’s degree in art education from New York University.
This exhibition features selections from Wise’s Interiors Series. In contemporary society a good deal of time is spent in the confines of our homes, offices and public buildings. The objects that surround us in these settings have a tendency toward devolving into what we think of as the settings themselves, losing all of their individual character and qualities. Through abstraction of the object he allows the viewer to consider its elements. These paintings function best when considered more as reductions, which over time reveal themselves. The bold lines, segmenting the composition, become a counter, squares a window pane, soft curves the back of a chair or sofa. This emergence of content brings us finally to recognize the space of a living room or kitchen hidden in what at first glance is a combination of color and geometric forms.
The Burchfield-Penney and M&T Bank would like to express our gratitude to the Wise family, for allowing us to add works from their private collections, creating the exhibition Roland Wise: Core Values.
The M&T Center, located at One Fountain Plaza in downtown Buffalo, is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. M&T Bank has hosted and provided financial support for exhibitions on-site at the M&T Center presented by the Burchfield-Penney Art Center since 1988.
About the Burchfield-Penney Art Center
The Burchfield-Penney Art Center is a museum dedicated to the art and vision of Charles E. Burchfield and distinguished artists of Buffalo Niagara and Western New York State. Through its affiliation with Buffalo State College, the museum encourages learning and celebrates our richly creative and diverse community. For more information, call (716) 878-6011 or visit www.burchfield-penney.org.