Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
23 October – 20 December 2008
Opening reception at Lehmann Maupin
540 West 26th Street, New York
Thursday, 23 October, 6-8 PM
For their first exhibition at Lehmann Maupin Gallery's Chelsea location (540 West 26th Street), Tim Rollins and K.O.S. will present a new body of work inspired by the words of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Jacobs, Langston Hughes, Ralph Ellison and Malcolm X.
Spanning more than two decades, the collaboration of Tim Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) continues to challenge notions of art through their deep engagement with literary and historical texts and contemporary art practice. Here the artists present a visual counterpoint to the venerable words of prominent social advocates. The ten new paintings in this exhibition reflect the artists' mixture of culture, literature and politics and the personal interpretations and connections between the content to the artists' own experiences. In Letter from Birmingham Jail #2 (after the Rev. Dr. M. L. King, Jr.), the dark bars painted across the canvas are a direct reference to King's confinement when he wrote and to the social injustice felt by many at that time and still felt today. The influence of art history is also evident here with formal links to Minimalism present in the aforementioned work as well as Invisible Man and Malcolm X. By layering book pages onto canvas and painting enigmatic images directly overtop each work, Rollins and K.O.S. have revealed the transformative power of art in this exhibition.
Tim Rollins studied fine art at the University of Maine and earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. After graduate studies in art education and philosophy at New York University, Rollins began teaching art for special education middle school students in a South Bronx public school. In 1984, he launched the "Art and Knowledge Workshop" in the Bronx together with a group of at-risk students who called themselves K.O.S. (Kids of Survival). The group has exhibited extensively worldwide and their work is represented in prestigious public and private collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum of Art, and the Tate Gallery London. A survey of the groups work will open at The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College opening in February 2009. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated hardcover catalogue, co-published by the Tang Museum and MIT Press.
For more information please visit our website, www.LehmannMaupin.com, or contact the gallery at 212 255 2923 or Stephanie@LehmannMaupin.com.