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Kay Rosen

Selected Works

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

Steps

Kay Rosen Steps 2014 Latex paint on wall

Dimensions variable

Signed on accompanying certificate

(Inventory #30314)

Kay Rosen Steps, 2014

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

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

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

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

Even Steven

Rosen Even Steven 2015-2016 Acrylic gouache on rogh watercolor paper with deckled edge

Image/paper size:  22 1/2 x 15 inches  (57.2 x 38.1 cm)
Frame size:  26 x 18 3/4 inches  (66 x 47.6 cm)
Signed on reverse
(Inventory #29252)

Rosen Even Steven, 2015-2016

Rear Area

Rosen Rear Area 2015 Acrylic gouache on rogh watercolor paper with deckled edge

Image/paper size:  22 1/2 x 15 inches  (57.2 x 38.1 cm)
Frame size:  26 x 18 3/4 inches  (66 x 47.6 cm)
Signed on reverse
(Inventory #29253)

Rosen Rear Area, 2015

Sombra Sobre el Hombre (Shadow Over Man)

Kay Rosen Sombra Sobre el Hombre (Shadow Over Man) 2017-2018 Acryla gouache on watercolor paper

Image size:  5 1/4 x 22 1/4 inches  (13.3 x 56.5 cm)
Paper size:  22 x 30 inches  (55.9 x 76.2 cm)
Frame size:  25 x 33 inches  (63.5 x 83.8 cm)
Signed on reverse
(Inventory #29958)

Kay Rosen Sombra Sobre el Hombre (Shadow Over Man), 2017-2018

Up in Alaska

Kay Rosen Up in Alaska 2009 Colored pencil on paper

Image/Paper size:  12 3/8 x 12 3/8 inches  (31.4 x 31.4 cm)
(Inventory #22650)

 

 

Kay Rosen Up in Alaska, 2009

Middle of a Film Noir

Kay Rosen Middle of a Film Noir 1990/2003 Oil stick on paper board

Image/paper size:  13 1/8 x 22 1/8 inches  (33.3 x 56.2 cm)
(Inventory #22645)

 

 

Kay Rosen Middle of a Film Noir, 1990/2003

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

Windows (Front and Rear)

Kay Rosen Windows (Front and Rear) 2010 Pencil on two sheets of paper

Image/paper size:  14 1/2 x 10 5/8 inches each  (36.8 x 27 cm each)
(Inventory #22648)

 

 

Kay Rosen Windows (Front and Rear), 2010

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

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

Goof Off

Rosen Goof Off 2012 Colored pencil on paper

Image/paper size:  20 1/2 x 14 inches  (52.1 x 35.6 cm)
(Inventory #27346)

 

Rosen Goof Off, 2012

Zeroing In

Rosen Zeroing In 2012 Pencil on paper

Image/paper size:  22 1/4 x 20 inches  (56.5 x 50.8 cm)
Signed and dated on reverse, lower right
(Inventory #27347)

 

 

Rosen Zeroing In, 2012

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

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

Sisyphus

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

Edition of 100
(Inventory #23269)

 

Kay Rosen Sisyphus, 1991/2011

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

Sinking Feeling

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.

Rosen Sinking Feeling, 1984/1995

Rain Bow Wow
from “Nine Is a Four letter Word” portfolio

Rosen Rain Bow Wow
from “Nine Is a Four letter Word” portfolio
1991 Letterpress print with silkscreened background

Image size:  26 x 18 inches  (66 x 45.7 cm)
Paper size:  27 1/2 x 20 inches  (69.9 x 50.8 cm)
Edition of XXV, AP
Signed, dated and numbered on reverse
(Inventory #28774)

Rain Bow Wow, 1991:
BOW is the hinge between RAIN and WOW as it toggles between the two, creating a positive or negative expression: RAINBOW, WOW! or RAIN, BOW WOW.

Rosen Rain Bow Wow
from “Nine Is a Four letter Word” portfolio, 1991

OBFUSCATE

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)
Edition of 50
Signed and dated on reverse, edition numbering not determined
(Inventory #28768)

Obfuscate, 2008:
This work comes from Rosen’s interest in the form text could take and how it could function, to mirror the meaning of that word.  The form utilizes the normally verbal strategies involved with obfuscating (evasion, omissions, lies, backtracking, etc.) to foil (linear) reading.

Rosen OBFUSCATE, 2008

IOU

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 #28846)

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.

Rosen IOU, 2017

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

Something Happened

Kay Rosen Something Happened 2017 Letterpress print on board in two parts

Image/paper size:  25 7/8 x 16 15/16 inches each  (65.7 x 43 cm each)
Edition of 10
Signed, numbered and dated on reverse on each sheet
(Inventory #28989)

 

Something Happened, 2017:
The text on the top right panel reads, “CORNER”, while the bottom left panel reads, “CORONER”.  As Richard Klein discusses in his essay about Rosen’s work for her solo exhibition at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Rosen actively chooses the way text occupies the architecture of the page/paper.  The current installation of “Something Happened” is still only a ‘representation’ of a real-life event, yet it takes the artwork a step further beyond a discrete work on paper by placing the work in a real space jointly shared by the viewer.  Of course the extra “O” suggests that whatever happened wasn’t good.  As both an installation and an edition, the work leaves much space in the middle both literally and figuratively

Kay Rosen Something Happened, 2017

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

Ugly Duckling, From the Lists Suite

Kay Rosen Ugly Duckling, From the Lists Suite 1990 Screenprint

(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.)
Edition of 25
Signed, titled, dated and numbered in pencil on verso
Paper size:  30 1/8 x 22 1/2 inches  (76.5 x 57.2 cm)
(Inventory #22486)

 

Kay Rosen Ugly Duckling, From the Lists Suite, 1990

Homophonia, From the Lists Suite

Kay Rosen Homophonia, From the Lists Suite 1990 Screenprint

(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
Paper size:  30 1/8 x 22 1/2 inches  (76.5 x 57.2 cm)
(Inventory #22488)

 

 

Kay Rosen Homophonia, From the Lists Suite, 1990

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 #25891)

 

 

 

Kay Rosen Spoof Proof, 2013

Related Information

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