Tim Rollins and K.O.S.

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Tim Rollins (June 10, 1955 – December 22, 2017)[1][2] was an American artist who together with the art collaborative K.O.S. formed the art-group Tim Rollins and K.O.S (Kids of Survival).[3][4]


Timothy William Rollins was born on June 10, 1955 in Pittsfield, Maine.[5] Rollins was a day student at the Maine Central Institute before studying fine art at the University of Maine. He then earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York (1975–77). After graduate studies in art education and philosophy at New York University (1977 and 1979), Rollins began teaching art for middle school students in a South Bronx public school.[6] 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).[7]

Since the founding of the Art & Knowledge Workshop in 1982, Tim Rollins & K.O.S. have produced allegorical paintings, sculptures and drawings by mining the vast wealth of printed matter - from the popular to the arcane, from the minor to the canonical, from legal documents to comic books (areas in no way mutually exclusive in Rollins & K.O.S.'s view) - which are themselves understood as political allegories.[8]

The group has exhibited worldwide having participated in two Whitney Biennials (1985, 1991), Documenta (1987), the Venice Biennale (1988), the Carnegie International (1988) and in solo exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1988); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts (1988); Dia Art Foundation, New York, New York (1989); Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut (1990); Museum für Gegenwärtskunst Basel, Switzerland (1990); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California (1990);[9] and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (1992).[citation needed]

Their work can be seen in public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York,[10] the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,[11] the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston,[12] and the Tate Gallery, London.[13]

In February 2009, a retrospective survey of the groups' work opened at The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery] at Skidmore College.[14]

The current members of K.O.S., at the time of Rollins' death at age 62 in December 2017, included Angel Abreu (b. 1974), Jorge Abreu (b. 1979), Robert Branch (b. 1977), Ala Ebtekar (b. 1978), Ricardo Nelson Savinon (b.1971), and Noe Sosa (b. 1992)


  1. ^ "Tim Rollins obituary". Guardian. 2018-01-12. Retrieved 14 January 2018. 
  2. ^ "New York Times corrections". New York Times. 2018-01-13. Retrieved 14 January 2018. 
  3. ^ "Artist Tim Rollins, a Champion of Collaboration and a Powerful Evangelist for Art Education, Has Died at 62". artnet News. 2017-12-27. Retrieved 30 December 2017. 
  4. ^ Tim Robbins obituary, Hyperallergic.com; accessed 30 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Tim Rollins Dies at 62; Turned Bronx Teenagers Into Art Stars". The New York Times. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2018. 
  6. ^ Falconer, Morgan, Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press, 2009
  7. ^ "Tim Rollins and K.O.S. - Xavier Hufkens". Xavierhufkens.com. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  8. ^ Myoda, Paul, Tim Rollins and K.O.S. at Mary Boone Gallery, Frieze Magazine, May 1995.
  9. ^ "Exhibitions • MOCA". The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  10. ^ "The Collection - MoMA". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2009-04-06. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Tim Rollins born 1955". Tate.org.uk. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 
  14. ^ "Login - Tang Museum". Tang Museum. Retrieved 31 December 2017. 

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