Kay Rosen makes her work by finding, assembling, arranging, composing, simplifying and/or complicating letters and words. The current exhibition, “Kay Rosen: Lists, 1989-1991” consists of every work the artist has made with the ‘list’ form. With Rosen’s direction, a list can be an accumulation, juxtaposition, narrative and/or puzzle. As opposed to traditional grammar, the myriad options of how a list exists has given Rosen both structure and freedom with which to engage formal, social, and political topics. The pieces in the show are in and on a wide range of media (award ribbons, book covers, etching, graphite, handouts, letterpress, periodicals, silkscreen, video and wall painting, among others) and thus show the depth and breadth with which Rosen works. In conjunction with the exhibition, each work in the show now has an associated text (all are available on the website) to further add to the experience of viewing/reading
Kay Rosen has been the subject of numerous articles, reviews, and group and solo exhibitions, including in 1998 a two-venue mid-career survey entitled “Kay Rosen: Li[f]eli[k]e,” curated by Connie Butler and Terry R. Myers at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and Otis College of Art Design. She has been the recipient of awards that include a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2017 and three National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Grants. Her work is included in many institutional and private collections. Rosen taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for twenty-four years. She was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas and lives in New York City and Gary, Indiana.
Concurrent with Krakow Witkin Gallery’s “Kay Rosen: Lists, 1989-2021” is Rosen’s “New Work 2020-2021,” a solo exhibition in New York at Sikkema Jenkins & Co.. The show features acrylic gouache paintings on paper, enamel paintings on canvas, and two wall murals. Produced over the past 18 months, these works respond to the fear, isolation, and anxiety experienced by the artist during that time.