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Kay Rosen

Selected Works

Even Steven

Kay Rosen Even Steven 2017 Acrylic paint on canvas

31 x 21 1/4 inches (78.7 x 54 cm)
Signed and dated on reverse bottom right corner on canvas in ink
(Inventory #29849)

Kay Rosen Even Steven, 2017

IOU

Kay Rosen IOU 2017 Letterpress print on board

Image/paper size:  25 x 44 inches  (63.5 x 111.8 cm)
Edition of 20
Signed, dated and numbered on reverse in graphite
(Inventory #28836)

IOU, 2017:
In Rosen’s words, “IOU” is a “found textual treasure which required minor adjustments to color to address major historical wrongs”.  For anyone who has followed the attempts by the corporation, Energy Transfer Partners, to build the Dakota Access Pipeline less than one mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, the message of the letterpress work “IOU” will be clear: both a promise and an apology to that tribe, and by extension, to the many other indigenous peoples whose rights and treaties have been trampled over the years.  As the protocol for approval of these pipelines, such as a thorough Environmental Impact Study, is radically altered by Trump’s orders, “IOU” fashions a simple message out of the heart of the Sioux tribe’s name.

Kay Rosen IOU, 2017

Head over Heels

Kay Rosen Head over Heels 2016 Latex paint on wall

Dimensions variable
Signed on accompanying certificate
(Inventory #30315)

Kay Rosen Head over Heels, 2016

Trickle Down

Kay Rosen Trickle Down 2016 Latex paint on wall

Dimensions variable
Signed on accompanying certificate
(Inventory #30316)

Kay Rosen Trickle Down, 2016

Blue Monday

Kay Rosen Blue Monday 2015 Continuous loop on dvd, with sound

9 minutes, 12 seconds
Edition of 100
Signed and numbered on accompanying certificate
(Inventory #27931)

 

 

Kay Rosen Blue Monday, 2015

Still-life with Blue Table (Earthquake)

Kay Rosen Still-life with Blue Table (Earthquake) 2015 Unique gouache on watercolor paper

Image/paper size:  13 3/4 x 11 1/8 inches  (34.9 x 28.3 cm)
Frame size:  16 3/4 x 14 1/2 inches  (42.5 x 36.8 cm)
Signed on reverse
(Inventory #28014)

 

Kay Rosen Still-life with Blue Table (Earthquake), 2015

Echos

Kay Rosen Echos 2014 Enamel sign paint on canvas

40 x 30 inches (101.6 x 76.2 cm)
Signed and dated on reverse
(Inventory #29953)

Kay Rosen Echos, 2014

Structures

Kay Rosen Structures 2012-2014 Holbein acrylic gouache on rough watercolor paper

Image/paper size:  22 1/2 x 30 1/4 inches  (57.2 x 76.8 cm)
Signed and dated on reverse, lower right
(Inventory #27349)

 

 

Kay Rosen Structures, 2012-2014

Wanderful!

Kay Rosen Wanderful! 2013 Latex paint on wall

Dimensions variable
Signed on accompanying certificate
(Inventory #30321)

Kay Rosen Wanderful!, 2013

Spoof Proof

Kay Rosen Spoof Proof 2013 Handprinted serigraph

Edition of 40
Signed and numbered on reverse
Image size:  16 1/4  x 15 11/16 inches  (41.3 x 39.8 cm)
Paper size:  21 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches  (55.2 x 54 cm)
(Inventory #25892)

 

 

 

Kay Rosen Spoof Proof, 2013

HIJACKED

Kay Rosen HIJACKED 2012 Arranged book covers

Cover size:  6 7/8 x 4 inches each  (17.5 x 10.2 cm each)
Overall size:  20 5/8 x 20 inches  (52.4 x 50.8 cm)
(Inventory #29951)

Kay Rosen HIJACKED, 2012

Only the Lonely

Kay Rosen Only the Lonely 2012 Lithograph on handmade paper with deckled edge

Image size: 7 1/8 x 10 inches (18.1 x 25.4 cm)
Paper size: 19 3/8 x 23 3/4 inches (49.2 x 60.3 cm)
Edition of 20
Signed, dated and numbered on reverse
(Inventory #28776)

Kay Rosen Only the Lonely, 2012

Constructed Landscape (Winter)

Kay Rosen Constructed Landscape (Winter) 2012 Latex paint on wall

Installation measurements vary
This installation:  8′ x 10′ 8″
(Inventory #24818)

Exhibited: January 2013 – September 2013

Read more about this work here

 

Kay Rosen Constructed Landscape (Winter), 2012

Kiss on the Cheek

Kay Rosen Kiss on the Cheek 2012 Latex paint on wall

Dimensions variable
Signed on accompanying certificate
(Inventory #30312)

Kay Rosen Kiss on the Cheek, 2012

Constructed Landscape (Winter)

Kay Rosen Constructed Landscape (Winter) 2011 Enamel sign paint on canvas

22 1/2 x 30 inches (57.2 x 76.2 cm)
Signed and dated on reverse
(Inventory #29952)

Kay Rosen Constructed Landscape (Winter), 2011

Constructed Landscape,

Kay Rosen Constructed Landscape, 2011 Acrylic gouache on paper

Signed and dated on reverse
Image size:  9 1/8 x 25 7/8  inches  (23.2 x 65.7 cm)
Paper size:  22 5/8 x 30 1/16 inches  (57.5 x 76.4 cm)
(Inventory #24143)

 

Kay Rosen Constructed Landscape,, 2011

Go Do Good

Kay Rosen Go Do Good 2011 Silkscreen on French Bright White Paper

Image size: 21 7/8 x 16 inches (55.6 x 40.6 cm)
Paper size: 23 7/8 x 18 inches (60.6 x 45.7 cm)
Edition of 40
Signed and numbered on reverse in graphite
(Inventory #28777)

Kay Rosen Go Do Good, 2011

Mayhem

Kay Rosen Mayhem 2011 Acrylic gouache on paper

Image size: 14 1/2 x 8 3/8 inches (36.8 x 21.3 cm)
Paper size: 21 3/4 x 15 inches (55.2 x 38.1 cm)
Frame size: 24 3/4 x 18 1/8 inches (62.9 x 46 cm)
Signed on reverse
(Inventory #29955)

Kay Rosen Mayhem, 2011

AREAS

Kay Rosen AREAS 2009 Sign paint on two canvases

18 1/8 x 13 1/8 inches each  (46 x 33.3 cm each)
(Inventory #23422)

 

 

Kay Rosen AREAS, 2009

Migration

Kay Rosen Migration 2017 Letterpress print on board in two parts

Overall installation measurements vary
Image size:  8 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches each  (21.6 x 39.4 cm each)
Paper size:  14 x 22 inches each  (35.6 x 55.9 cm each)
Edition of 10
Signed and numbered on both sheet as well as notated ‘Left Sheet’ or ‘Right Sheet’
(Inventory #29066)

 

Migration, 2017:
Migration consists of two boards, one with the word, “ICELAND” printed on it while the other has “IRELAND”.  The similarity of the names of the two countries, only one letter apart, presented itself as a sort of found text to Rosen, a situation that demanded to be reconstructed by color in order to make a point.  It couldn’t be more relevant than it is now. While the single blue or green letter, “R” and “C” creates a little visual and semantic disruption, having “migrated” from one name/country to the other, they change the work into a more multi-hued, complex and heterogeneous ‘place’ than it was as a monochromed one.

Kay Rosen Migration, 2017
View Larger Image Migration

Obfuscate

Kay Rosen Obfuscate 2008 Letterpress print

Image size: 21 1/4 x 13 1/4 inches (54 x 33.7 cm)
Paper size: 22 x 14 inches (55.9 x 35.6 cm)
Frame size: 30 1/2 x 22 3/4 inches (77.5 x 57.8 cm)
Edition of 50
Signed, numbered and dated on reverse on label
(Inventory #28858)

Kay Rosen Obfuscate, 2008

Do Not Disturb

Kay Rosen Do Not Disturb 2007 Letterpress print

Image/paper size:  14 x 22 inches  (35.6 x 55.9 cm)
Edition of 100
Signed and numbered on reverse in graphite
(Inventory #28849)

Do Not Disturb, 2007:
In Kay’s words, “When I read about the creation in the text of Genesis, my thoughts were primarily about the abundance, diversity, and pristineness of life that was created and how impoverished and degraded it has become under our stewardship. We have squandered those remarkable gifts and  privilege almost to the point of no return. My contribution to “In the Beginning” concerns this critical issue.”

Through its text and through its form, Do Not Disturb functions as a message and as a metaphor.  It carries through it’s message, DO NOT DISTURB, a command to cease the reckless abuse of the earth.  Uncannily, the structure of the text verbally mimics the creation.  The text contains letters which are capable of grouping themselves into dominant families of D’s. I’s, S’s, T’s, and O’s.  Organizing themselves in this way, one letter under the other like letter, they create a system of divisions and classifications of similar forms.  This arrangement of text is very closely related to what happens in Genesis and to the methodical order and sequencing, divisions and relationships, as in “each after their kind” and “gathering together unto one place.”  The letters simulate an efficient model of Genesis through a process of alignment.  At the same time that they comment on the creation, the letters act it out as little verbal surrogates.

Kay Rosen Do Not Disturb, 2007

Comparison

Kay Rosen Comparison 2006 Colored pencil on paper

Image size:  11 1/8 x 12 1/4 inches  (28.3 x 31.1 cm)
Paper size:  18 3/8 x 19 1/4 inches  (46.7 x 48.9 cm)
Frame size:  21 x 21 7/8 inches  (53.3 x 55.6 cm)
Signed and dated on reverse
(Inventory #23426)

 

 

Kay Rosen Comparison, 2006

Pendulum

Kay Rosen Pendulum 2003/2005 Latex paint on wall

Installation measurements vary
(Inventory #22635)

Pendulum, 2003/2005

In order to model itself after its real life counterpart, PENDULUM’s letters have to be completely reordered. The new order, PNUUMLDE, reflects the successive stations of a pendulum’s arc as it swings back and forth across an imaginary center between the first and last letters, the second and seventh, the third and sixth, and the fourth and fifth, punctuating each one with a change of direction. The sequence of letters is deliberately out of order linguistically but in order conceptually. While the word does not actively move, it serves as a kind of score for reading which the viewer activates each time they read it. As they attempt to spell it correctly by visually reordering the letters, their repeated eye movements back and forth between P and E, N and D, U and L, and U and M mimic the pendulum’s motion. It is an unintelligible jumble of letters until the viewers set it in motion. The reader generates the pendulum, whose alternating rhythm is reinforced by its black and white palette.
 
Color, sequence, and incidence of letters are important to the way words play out their message, but in issues of polarity numbers are important too, as in any situation involving two sides.  PENDULUM is stabilized by balance. Its even-numbered letters, four on each side of the center, methodically record each stroke to the right and left by the virtual pendulum. When it swings one way, it can be assured by gravity and momentum that it will swing back by that much the other way. The center here is not the subject of colonization, but the fixed point against which the equal distance to each side is measured. Within a word, that distance is measured by the number of letters. If pendulum did not have even-numbered letters, it would not have worked.

 — from The Center Is a Concept, Kay Rosen.

Kay Rosen Pendulum, 2003/2005

Spatter Pattern

Kay Rosen Spatter Pattern 2005 Colored pencil on paper

Signed and dated on reverse
Image size:  10 3/8 x 17 1/4 (26.4 x 43.8 cm)
Paper size:  17 x 24 inches (43.2 x 61 cm)
Frame size:  19 1/2 x 26 1/2 inches (49.5 x 67.3 cm)
(Inventory #23424)

 

 

Kay Rosen Spatter Pattern, 2005

S Words

Kay Rosen S Words 1994 Graphite on paper

Image/Paper size:  13 x 19 inches

(33 x 48.3 cm)
(Inventory #22644)

Kay Rosen S Words, 1994

Sisyphus

Kay Rosen Sisyphus 1991/2011 Continuous loop on dvd, with sound

Edition of 100
(Inventory #23269)

 

Kay Rosen Sisyphus, 1991/2011

Palimpsest

Kay Rosen Palimpsest 1991 Relief etching in red on Rives BFK White paper with deckled edge

Image size: 19 5/8 x 14 inches (49.8 x 35.6 cm)
Paper size: 25 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches (65.1 x 49.8 cm)
Edition of 27
Signed, titled, dated and numbered on reverse in graphite
(Inventory #31023)

The tenuousness and slippage which occurs in language parallel the fragility and uncertainty inherent in political systems of power. In “Palimpsest” a sacrosanct list of popes and kings, whose nine predecessors enjoyed authority determined, validated, and endorsed by a history of their namesakes, is thrown into confusion by the final ambiguous function of the single letter “X”. “X” changes this history from unquestionable ancestry to unknown ancestry. Historical predicability is threatened by the implications of a letter.

Kay Rosen Palimpsest, 1991

The Man

Kay Rosen The Man 1991 Etching in colors on Rives BFK White paper with deckled edge

Image size: 15 x 20 3/4 inches (38.1 x 52.7 cm)
Paper size: 25 1/2 x 19 1/2 inches (64.8 x 49.5 cm)
Edition of 32
Signed, titled, dated and numbered on reverse in graphite
(Inventory #31022)

Kay Rosen The Man, 1991

The List Portfolio (Ugly Duckling, Homophonia, Liszt, Liste/List)

Kay Rosen The List Portfolio (Ugly Duckling, Homophonia, Liszt, Liste/List) 1990 Set of four screenprints

Image/paper size: 30 1/8 x 22 1/2 inches each (76.5 x 57.2 cm each)

1) Ugly Duckling – a found list of names selected from the S section of the Gary, Indiana telephone book.  The names are all quite ungraceful sounding, until the 27th one, Swan.

2) List/Liste – a list of French and English words.  Liste, the French words, look like English words.  The second part, List, is the English translation of the French Liste, which of course also look like English words.

3) Liszt – a list of all of Franz Liszt’s works

4) Homophonia – a list of words identified by the artist that each contain a pair of identical looking and sounding letters, homophonic in other words.  Just one letter away from homophobia, Homophonia is a little verbal metaphor for the larger society and the importance of like components to structure and meaning.

Edition of 25
Signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil on verso
(Inventory #23232)

Kay Rosen The List Portfolio (Ugly Duckling, Homophonia, Liszt, Liste/List), 1990

In Lieu of Louis (1789 – 1870), A True Story From the List Series

Kay Rosen In Lieu of Louis (1789 – 1870), A True Story From the List Series 1989/1996 Screenprint on paper

Image/paper size: 13 5/8 x 16 inches (34.6 x 40.6 cm)
Edition of 16
Signed, dated and numbered on verso
(Inventory #28775)

Kay Rosen In Lieu of Louis (1789 – 1870), A True Story From the List Series, 1989/1996

Various Strata

Kay Rosen Various Strata 1985 1-Shot sign paint on wall

Dimensions variable
This installation size: 78 x 78 inches (198.1 x 198.1 cm)
Signed on accompanying certificate
(Inventory #24255)

Exhibited February 16, 2019 – March 23, 2019

Read more about this work here

Kay Rosen Various Strata, 1985

H is for House

Kay Rosen H is for House 2017 Latex paint on two opposing walls

Dimensions variable
Signed on accompanying certificate
(Inventory #30319)

Kay Rosen H is for House, 2017

Border Piece

Kay Rosen Border Piece 1984

Dimensions variable
Signed on accompanying certificate
(Inventory #30322)

Kay Rosen Border Piece, 1984

Sinking Feeling

Kay Rosen Sinking Feeling 1984/1995 Letterpress print on board in two parts

Image/paper size:  22 x 14 inches each  (55.9 x 35.6 cm each)
Signed and dated on reverse on sheet 1/2
(Inventory #28773)

Sinking Feeling, 1984/1995
Sinking Feeling draws on sound, pronunciation and meaning.  It refers to ‘synching’  as a chorus of simultaneous voices, as in synchronizing; as ‘cinching,’ like a tightening noose; and of course ‘sinking.’ They combine in various ways to ‘lynching,’ a violent abduction by a mob; and ‘linking’ in which groups of people are linked and oppressed by association.  To take one of these references further, the text makes bold the fearful thought that comes from a “feeling” (aka something that is not tangible).  It utilizes the seemingly ‘era-appropriate’ vernacular font of the subject matter of a lynching, yet one of the key elements of the work, in this age of immediate responses and criticisms of difficult subject matter, is the absolute requirement that the work exist in multiplicity.  “Officially” the work is a pair (each pair is signed and numbered as if it were one piece, which the artists considers it to be), and thus no lynching can occur without MORE THAN ONE.  This rule is something that poetically refers to many troublesome issues – no one person every seems to truly act alone.  In order for an awful situation to occur MULTIPLE people have to be working, in some way, together.  Rosen’s work uses a play on words and verbal repetition to get at very serious topics, all while expanding the issue from one awful type of crime to the issue of human nature.

Kay Rosen Sinking Feeling, 1984/1995

Related Information

  • Artist’s Exhibitions at Krakow Witkin Gallery
  • Kay Rosen Biography
  • Kay Rosen Press
  • Additional Links