Kay Rosen: The Complete Letterpress Works, 1984-2017

April 29, 2017
- June 3, 2017


Exhibition View
Exhibition View
Exhibition View
Something Happened
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 #28995)

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 #28828)

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

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 #29067)

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.

Do Not Disturb
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)

Letterpress print

Edition of 120
Signed, dated and numbered on verso
16 1/2 x 12 3/4 inches

(41.9 x 32.4 cm)

(Inventory #28769)

9/10, 1993/2004:
The original idea began in 1993. DU Magazine project,1993 (see text below); wall painting, “Korrespondenzen/ Correspondences,” 1994-5; Goethe Institut Newsletter cover, 1995; stairwell wall painting 18’10″x 10’9″, “Kay Rosen: Lifeli[k]e”; wall painting Dunedin Public Art Gallery “Kay Rosen: Big Talk”, 2004; wall painting “numerica”- palazzo delle papesse centro arte contempoanea, Siena, 2007. The following text accompanied the image in DU Magazine:
Lesson 1 began with the work’s intention of discovering and analyzing new visual and linguistic systems in brief verbal fragments. Because every mark that is made on a page creates meaning, shorter constructions generally provide stricter and more rigorous limits and controls on interpretation than do longer ones. This last lesson offers a very literal scenario on the polemics of size. The dispute concerns quantity– the sum of letters/numbers per line, nine or ten, which is indicated by the final number expressed on that line. For example, N-I-N-E-N-E-I-N-1-0 does indeed contain ten figures. Each line attempts to be specific, clear, and correct in its proceedure and solution, enlisting a variety of strateges, such as reiteration, translation, and enumeration to make its case. But in spite of their insistence, the voice or voices contradict themselves and each other. Their disagreement is a consequence of expression. The subtraction or addition of each unit of meaning, each letter or number, increases or decreases the length of the argument and thus, the conclusion. Lesson 8 is a farcical and elaborate conceit about the behavior of language and its inability to be absolute, certain, and consistent. Moreover, it demonstrates how critical the smallest components are to this behavior.

Sinking Feeling
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)

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