Tim Rollins

Tim Rollins is an artist, activist, and teacher based in South Bronx, New York, who is known for what might be understood as “art activism,” and specifically his collaborative work with a group of at-risk students who call themselves Kids of Survival (K.O.S.). Beginning his career in 1980 as cofounder of Group Material—a collective of young New York artists pooling resources to launch exhibitions that address social themes—Rollins laid the ground work for what has become an art-world phenomenon known as Tim Rollins and K.O.S. Moving from traditional student/teacher interactions to a respected fine art collaborative practice, Tim Rollins and K.O.S. is represented by Lehman Maupin gallery in New York and shows internationally, with an exhibition history that includes two Whitney Biennials, the 1988 Venice Biennale, Carnegie International, as well as Documenta 8.  After showing at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel, Switzerland, more than 20 years ago, Tim Rollins and K.O.S. present new works in a major survey exhibition in Basel entitled On Transfiguration, on view January 21 through April 15, 2012. “With Rollins’s guidance, these students are producing artwork of a remarkable sophistication, which refuses to conform to known categories but alternates between the literary and the visual, the modern and the naïve. Rollins’s teaching approach is at once classic and iconoclastic, for he uses significant works of literature as the basis for a visual statement. The result is a multilevel collaboration: among the students, between teacher and student, between the group and the authors whose books they choose.” Roberta Smith, New York Times. This Tuesday Evenings presentation, Art and the Beloved Community, offers a special opportunity to hear from Rollins on the history, experiences, and initiatives of this extraordinary group.