FRONT International
Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art

Kay Rosen

© Larry Lapidus

Kay Rosen’s language-based paintings, drawings, editions, collages, installations, and two videos have been exhibited in museums and institutions nationally and internationally for four decades, among them Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996, 2012); Art Gallery of New South Wales (2014-2015); The Art Institute of Chicago (2000, 2011, 2013); Contemporary Art Museum Houston (2016); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011-2013); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2013); Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (2013); Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (2012); the Honolulu Museum of Art (2012); Aspen Art Museum
(2001, 2012-2013); Christchurch Public Art Gallery, New Zealand (
2011, 2012 ongoing); Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco (inaugural exhibition 2008); Prospect 1 New Orleans (2008); Indianapolis Museum of Art (1995, 2005 ongoing); Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2004); University Art Museum, University of California at Santa Barbara (2004); The Drawing Center, New York (2002); MASS MOCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (1999, 2001); Whitney Biennial 2000 and 1991 (as part of Group Material “AIDS Timeline”); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1994, 1996, 2004, 2010, 2011); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Otis College of Art and Design, a two-venue mid-career survey “Kay Rosen: Lifeli[k]e” curated by Connie Butler and Terry R. Myers, 1998-99; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (1991); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1996); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (1990); and New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1984).
Rosen’s work has also been shown in numerous solo and group gallery exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe and it resides in collections worldwide. Artforum, Art in America, ArtUS, and The New York Times are a few of the publications that have featured her work in long articles and reviews. Rosen is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow. She has also been awarded three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships (1987, 1989, 1995), an Anonymous Was a Woman Award (2009), and an SJ Weiler Fund award (2013). A book about her work, Kay Rosen: AKAK, was published by Regency Art Press, New York City, in 2009. Rosen lives in Gary, Indiana most of the time and taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for twenty-four years.
Trained in languages and linguistics, Kay Rosen realized in the nineteen seventies that what most interested her about anguage had to be expressed visually, so she left academia and started over as a “self-taught” artist from square one. Drawing on her linguistic background, she began an exploration of the intersection of meaning and structure in language through pictorial means: color, materials, scale, composition, typography, and graphic design. Her investigation in to alternative functions of language continues until today. More can be learned about her at