Roland Wise | 1956

Roland Wise (1923-2005) was born in San Francisco, CA, and raised in Brooklyn, NY.

During the late 1940s, he studied at The Art Students League in New York City; among his teachers were Will Barnet and Morris Kantor.

Wise started a career in academia in Winnipeg, Canada, at the newly formed School of Art at the University of Manitoba. There, he became part of an abstractionist collective that exhibited as the Winnipeg Group. Between 1951 and 1954, their work was shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Gallery of Canada’s Annual Exhibition of Canadian Painting, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

In 1955, he began a 37-year tenure at Buffalo State College. In 1960 he won first prize at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Western New York Exhibition. He also received a fellowship to paint in Rome, Italy in 1961.

Though rarely offered for sale, his art was shown frequently during his lifetime; notably, he was included in “The Wayward Muse: A Historical Survey of Painting in Buffalo,” the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s seminal 1987 show. In 1994, Buffalo’s Burchfield Penney Art Center presented a solo show of his art, titled “Interiors.”

Well-regarded Canadian museum curator and author Jeffrey Spalding rediscovered the work of the Winnipeg Group and wrote in Galleries West Magazine (2011) that the collective’s output was at “the leading edge of adventurous experimentation in Canadian abstract art” and warranted reappraisal. Spalding suggests that the group is the missing link between Quebec’s Automatistes and Toronto’s Painters Eleven (P11), two of the most influential modern art movements in the history of Canadian art.

In 2017, the Burchfield Penney Art Center, which holds over 40 of Wise’s paintings and drawings in its permanent collection, exhibited “The Interior World of Roland Wise.”

A selection of Roland Wise paintings is on display from April 26-July 15, 2019 at Will Faller Fine Art & Antiques, 21 Elm Street, East Aurora, NY 14052