Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: A History
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Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: A History

by Ian Berry
     
 

In August 1981, artist and activist Tim Rollins was recruited by the principal of Intermediate School 52 in the South Bronx to develop a curriculum that combined art-making with lessons in reading and writing for students classified as "at risk." On the first day of school, Rollins told his students,"Today we are going to make art, but we are also going to make

Overview

In August 1981, artist and activist Tim Rollins was recruited by the principal of Intermediate School 52 in the South Bronx to develop a curriculum that combined art-making with lessons in reading and writing for students classified as "at risk." On the first day of school, Rollins told his students,"Today we are going to make art, but we are also going to make history." This book unfolds that history, offering the first comprehensive catalog of work created collaboratively by Rollins and several generations of students, now known as the "Kids of Survival". Rollins and his students developed a way of working that combined art-making with reading literature and writing personal narratives: Rollins or a student would read aloud from classic literary texts by such authors as Shakespeare and Orwell while the rest of the class drew or wrote on the pages being read, connecting the stories to their own experiences. Often,Rollins and his students (who later named themselves "Kids of Survival" or K.O.S.) cut out book pages and laid them on a grid on canvas before undertaking their graphic interventions. This process developed into the group's signature style, which they applied to literary texts, musical scores, and other printed matter. This book and the accompanying major museum retrospective document the history of the groundbreaking practice of Tim Rollins and K.O.S., with full color images of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. These include a caricature of Jesse Helms with an animal body drawn on the pages of Animal Farm; graffiti-like images painted in acrylic on the pages of Frankenstein; a gleaming pattern of fantastical golden horns on Kafka's Amerika; and a series of red letter A's on The Scarlet Letter.Essays byJulie Ault, Susan Cahan, David Deitcher, Eleanor Heartney,Larry Rinder, James Romaine Interview with the artist by Ian Berry

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
When artist and activist Tim Rollins first stepped into the classroom at Intermediate School 52 in the South Bronx, New York City, nothing would ever be the same for his students, for Rollins, or for the art world. Recruited in 1981 by the principal to work with "at-risk" students, Rollins developed a curriculum that combined art making with reading literary texts and writing personal narratives. On the first day of class, Rollins told his students, "Today we are going to make art, but we are also going to make history." This is the first book to showcase the collaborative work between Rollins and his pupils, inner-city youth who eventually became known as K.O.S. (Kids of Survival). Edited by Berry (Malloy Curator at the Tang Teaching Museum, Skidmore Coll.), the book features vivid, full-color images of paintings, sculptures and prints, photographs of Rollins with his many students over three decades, and well-crafted essays that tell the stories behind the art and the artists. VERDICT This charming title is highly recommended for art students, artists, art historians, educators, art lovers, and anyone who loves a story of survival.—Lisa Block, Atlanta

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262013550
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
12/11/2009
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 11.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Ian Berry is Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and Malloy Curator at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.

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