Artist Feature: Roland Poska

Past studio visit with Roland Poska | 1938-2017

Roland Poska was a pioneer of handmade paper in the world of contemporary art. He was born in Scotland in 1938 to Lithuanian parents who immigrated to the United States in 1948, and made a home in Rockford, Illinois. The artist’s paintings are accumulated works made of cotton fibers churned with pure powdered pigments—colorful arrangements that have sculptural attributes and which he referred to as “Papestries." Poska also created sculptures from his handmade cotton paper called “Sentinels.” With the textures and appearance of vibrantly hued felts, these pieces are as idiosyncratic as the process, some featuring pastoral scenery of houses and sunsets, and others with abstractly radiating circles and organic shapes. He also makes sculpture of the same Poska’s work at once presents whimsicality and imaginative novelty with the gravitas of artistic rigor.