Interactive Design: Roland Wise Gallery Write-up

Interior NR2L, 1975: acrylic on canvas

From February 10th – to May 21st, the Margaret L. Wendt Gallery, in the Burchfield Penney Art Center in Buffalo, NY, has been hosting an exhibition titled “The Interior World of Roland Wise”. The exhibition was essentially a throwback to one of Wise’s previous exhibitions “Interiors” which was featured at the Burchfield Penney Art Center back in 1994.

I was enthralled by the visual simplicity of these paintings and yet how distinctly they resembles certain figures and forms. His paintings can be compared to much of the art within the Bauhaus movement. It especially follows the philosophy of “form follows function”, which is the idea that the form of a figure must have some function or purpose. The colors and shapes of Wise’s paintings are simple yet distinctly identifiable in terms of what they represent. There are also some cases where the forms seem more abstract and nonsensical.

However, one thing that remains consistent in his work is the feelings emanating from them. While each piece shows depictions of similar interior settings, each painting has a unique feel on an individual basis. Some feel warm while others feel cool. Some feel spacious while others feel cluttered. One such piece that stuck out to me was “Interior NR2L”. This acrylic painting has a mixture of warm and cool colors and is overwhelmingly cluttered. When I saw the piece, the first thing that popped into my head was “messy room”, which seems like a common thing most people can relate to. And creating works that people as a whole feel like they have a connection with is one of Wise’s strong points.

One thing that I would take out of this exhibit is how I can make my work be something that other people feel like they can connect to.

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