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The Drawing

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PAPERS DR"A&VING cotlages ry99-2oo2

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COz by Kay Rosen ln ry99 | wAs sent a 5"x7 " Pieceo f w h i te museum B ' oard on w hi C h to make a w ork of art, as part of a funD'-raisingauctionp roj E 3ctto be n e Foi t L.BeodyEyes'n'Nose;EirdsGottaFIy;BIueMonday

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a I ar G e p u b ti c e x H 5 1 6 b i ti o nI. d e c i ded to make a col l age, havi ng f ust concl uded a posi tive r eunio n w i th s i x v e ry e a rl y o n e s i n a recent survey show i n L.A . at MOC A and Oti s C ol l ege G aller y . T h i s ti ttte w o rK a d d i c ted me to the process of i nteracti ng agai n w i th fou nd m at er i a L , u s u a Ity c o n ta i n i n g te x t, and i t has becoM' e al l ' Ongoi ng 5. HappyHanukkah,MerryXmos;HelmutL1nguage;A HorseWithNo Mane;Ho, Ho, Ho

6. llt Wind

7. Mr. Tough;Madeleine

8. No FreeLunch

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oP ' en- ended p ro j e c t e v e r s i n c e . T he r elati o n s h i p o f th e s e c o l l a g e s to my other w ork i s both si mi l ar and di ssi mi l ar. Cognit iv e ac u i ty i s th e c o mmo n p re c o n di ti on for the pai nti ngs and draw i ngs and the col I ages . Rec og n i z i n g o r s e n s i n g e x c e s s i v e potenti al i n ei ther a found l i ngui sti c i tem or i n a f ound obiec t o r b i t o f ma te ri a I i s th e g enesi s of both types of w ork. The appeal of and obs es s ion wi th a g i v e n fra g m e n t o f Ia n guage or other found bi t of materi al w hi ch has come int o m y t if e i n i ti a te s a re s p o n s e a n d a d iatogue by hotdi ng out the promi se of a mutual co[labor at ion be y o n d th e fi rs t p o i n t o f c o ntact. O n t he oth e r h a n d , th e Qu a ti ty a n d quanti ty of the acti vi ty and l aboR i S ' " di fferenT" i n eac h. I n t he p a i n ti n g s a n d d ra w i n g s , I i ni ti ate and deci de most of the physi caI terms of the dis c oUr s e f r o m th e o u ts e t: s c a l e , d i mensi ons, medi um, and of course subj ect. They proc eed under a n i m p ti c i t c o n tra c t o f ta b o r, mi ne or a si gn pai nter' s, and are onty futfi l l ed on t he c ondit ion o f th a t ta b o r. T h e c o l l a g e s come to the tabl e as resol Y ed and autonomous m at er ial wit h m a tu re p h y s i c a t c h a ra c te ri sti cs, at Ieast as far as thei r ori gi nal functi on i s c onc er ned. Th e i r d i m e n s i o n s , v i s u a I c o ntent, and medi um have al ready been establ i shed. 9. PlathaBehindthe Cathedral;Putting on the Dog

10. Stop Copying Me

rL. Tchotchke;TAnd Sympathy;TendingLaundryin Vernazza;Trieste

4


In someW"ays this makesthem easy mastersbecausemuchof the work has alreadybeen done and less labor is required.My activity seldom involvesa drawn or painted mark. Insteadit consistsof the carefulconsiderationof the materialwith the intentionof seeking and hopefutlyfinding the gesturewhich will heightenand eXpandits meaning.The practicedoesn't involvethe visual arrangementof importedabstractcomponentsas much as it involvesrepectfullYtrying to get into the "head" of the given item with the intention of figuring out what its next step would be if there were a next step. I don't attempt to exploit the object for my ends, but rather try to collaboratewith them toward a mutual end. The gestureis usuallyvery minimaland often consistsof no morethan the juxtaposition of objects,the swipeof an Exactoknife,the applicationof a bead of glue, or very [owtech construction.Becauseof the predeterminedcharacteristics of the found items,there is Iess room to maneuverand they are less negotiable,makingthe productionof the co[lagesmore conceptuallyrigorous.The greatestchallengeis supplementingand improving somethingthat is alreadyextremelyappealingand engagingas it is. The logicaland intuitive processthat interrogatesthe found item until it finds a modestsolutionis sometimes instantaneousand other times lengthy.Often an item patienttysits around with a very open mind for weeksor monthsawaitinga saviorto deliverit into anotherplace. Forexample,lwas very attractedto two postcardsthat read, respectively, "free snow," spray-paintedin red on an enormousmound of snow (fromThe Suburban,a suburbanart ga[[eryin Oak Park, lttinois) and "no free reading,"a found sign on an lrish newsstand (fromworkfortheeyetodo). Theywere so seductive.What could ladd that would conceptually support makinga collageout of them?lt turned out that the simplegestureof linking them was alt that was needed.The luxtapositionenabledthem to exceedtheir respective situationsbecausetheir alignmentcreateda linguisticand motivationalconflict.The snow was free, but readingwas not, so to learn that snow was free, one had to read the sign, which wasn't free, so in the end, one paid. Thus,the title of the work, ffo FreeLunch. ln the case of the wal[ work, On Top of Old Smokie,it was lwho sat around patientty waiting for chanceto enter my life, which it fi nally did in the form of a paint mistakethat I ran acrossat HomeDepot.I was excitedby the intersectionof the paint accidentwith my own purposes:a cast-offreject as found art source,the functionof the productas a decorator of interior watts,and the functionof its nameas a textual surrogatefor contentand syntax.A smallverbal [andscapeof trai]s,grass,and trees on top of a mountaindeveloped out of the collectionof paint names,and a corresponding largeabstractwalI painting,four quadrantsof color on top of the grayish-green"Great SmokieMt.," devetopedfrom the productitself, creatingparallelnarrativeand visual constructions. The collagetitled TendingLaundryin VernaZ p. Wedding


Alphabetlcal List Of Collages

A-,2oo2,6-l 18xS-tlt6 ABC,zooo,6-tlzx8 Amigos,zoor,8x ro Asymmetry,2oot,t3 x2c. BeadyEyes'n'Nose,zooz,tt-tlzx8-tlz BirdsGottaFly,zoot,7 x 5 BlueMondoy,zooz,to-t| 4 x 8-tI z Bluish,2oo2,8 x 83 I 8 x tl z BottomsUp,t999,4314x7 2oo2,8'rl q x 8 Consequently, ln theCorner,zoot,tt-tf 4x9314 2oo7,rt x 8-tI z DEAF(Treble), t! x 8-tl z DEAF(Bass) , 2oo1., DewDropOnCorner,zooo,to-tl z x 8-tl4 DietrichtKlosterfelde, 2ooo,g x 7 Do NotThrowPaperin Toilet,zoot,83l4xto DoubleTriple,zooo,l-tlz x 5-tlz Ellsworth Echo,t9gg,9 x t3 Exchange of ldeos,zooz,9-tl z x to-tf z FGA,zoot,zo x 4-tlz x z FilmoreSpace,zooo,tz-tlz x8 FirstClass,1999,5-tl4 x 7-tl 4 F Words,zooz,tz-tf 4x9 11x8-llSxtlz 4 PM.,2ooo, Growth,2ooo,5x7 MerryXmos,zooz,6314 x 8-tl z HappyHanukkah, xtlz t999,4-ll+x6-tlz HavaHavana, Helmut Language, zoor,tt3 | 4 x 8-tI zI zz-tI z x t4 2oo2,2t x zo-tI z x 3| 4 HIJACKED, HoHoHo,zoot,6-tl 4x6-tl 4 HorseWithNo Mane,zooz,8-7| 8 x tz-5I 8 lll Wind,zooz,8-tfzx 5314 lvoryBrown,zooo,73l8 x 5 J andCrew,zooo,6 x ro zooz,tz-tl t6 x 8-tl z Kansos,

KumKum,t999,5-tlzx7 Madelei ne,zoot,73 | 4 x 8 Milono7994,2oot,8-tlz x8-tlz x t-tlz Money,zooz,8-tf z x 5-tI z Mr.Tough,zooz,7-tl 4 x 9-tl z NoFreeLunch,zoot,9-Ll4x7 No WhiteHats,1999,S-tlz x l-tl t+ OnTopof OldSmokie,2oo2,latexpainton wall, texton board,paintcans,t2'1o"xt2'3" x9" Pinky,zoot, s3l4xtt 2oo!, 9 x 7 PlathaBehindthe Cathedrol, PikesPeak,2oo2,23x 25 x 3 Pouches DownUnder,zooz,73l4x6 Princessand the Pea,2oor,6 x 6-tl + x tl z PuttingOnthe Dog,zooz,7 x to-tf z RedSquare,1999, 5-11 4 x s-tl 4 Remember, 999, tt-tlz x 7 zooz,8-tf4 x tt Romance, zxt6 Spilled(ontheMarbledFloors),zooz,8'tf Standard,zooz,8-tl z x tt StopCopyingMe,2ooz,9 x rz Tand Sympathy,2oot,8 x to 6314 x 7-tlz Twenty-six,7999, TwoRings, 1999,53 I 8 x 7 -rl z Tchotchke, zooz,tz318 x to zoor, u x 8 TendingLaundryin Vernazza, 2ooo,6-tlz x 9 Thanksgiving, ThisSideUp,tg9g,8x S-tl8 Touching, t999,6x8 xt-t|4 Trieste, 2oo2,7 x to3 | 4 x 314 Upin Smoke,zooz,5-tlz x 7-tl z Downstairs, t999,6 x 6-tl8 x tl z Upstairs, Masks Ducks, t999, Vose 5-tl z x 8 x t-tl 4 Watchingthe Parode,2oo2,7r x t4 Wedding,2oo2,gxro William,Williom,ry99,7-tlz x ro-rl8 in inchesexceptOnTopof OId Alldimensions all worksmixedmedia. Smokie;


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publication throughthesupportof the Elizabeth weremadepossible andits accompanying Theexhibition andtheTobyB. Lewis Foundation, R. Dittmer Family Frances the Foundation, Firestone Graham in part,withpubticfundsfromthe NewYorkCity Fund.Thisprojectis alsosupported, Philanthropic Program. Chatlenge AffairsCultural of Cuttural Department fromEllen in part,bya contribution is madepossible, Papers seasonof theDrawing Thezooz-zoo3 Gallagher. exhiTheDrawing Center's documenting Papers, a seriesof publications Thisis number3z of theDrawing pubticaPapers TheDrawing a forumfor thestudyof drawing. andproviding bitionsandpublicprograms Textand8o#DulcetSmoothCover. Dulcetroo#Smooth tionsseriesis printedon Monadnock Prinzfor for all of herhelpandencouragement, Noorthoorn James Kny Ro s en wishesto thankVictoria material: of forthe use photographing theworks,andthefollowing Sarah PatrickCallery, JanetCarkeek, BarbaraAlper lTheNewYorkTimes,MaggieBogdanich, Gallery, Westwater Davis, WimDelvoye/Sperone James SimonCutts,Joyce Michael Cosar, Charlesworth, Peter StuartHorodner, AndrewHornberger, SueGrafton, Grabner, NewYorklimes,Michel[e GormanlThe New Edward KeatinglThe lrvine,Merietlen Madeleine Graphics, Johnson, Huttinger, JohnHuston/Anchor Krivitsky/Modelfor Ketly, Kristine limes,Ellsworth NewYork BiltKeller/BiechmanlThe YorkTimes, NewYork AndrewC.Revkin/Ihe & Read,LucioPozzi, Pifaretti/Cheim Bernard CaryLeibowitz, Positioning, Gallery, Marks Poe, Rondinone/Matthew Ugo Mendelsohn, Michael Iimes,RuthRoot,LynnRosen& Joy Lee,workfortheeyetodo. Wegman/Gorney+Bravin EricaVanHorn,Wi[[iam Torchia, Richard TheSuburban, Boardof Directors Dt r e A m onv , Gro n GE N Ec n o p o H rE ,c o -c hai rmen F Rnr uc E sB en rrY A o l e n M elv n B uc r s e e u l t J nm es M . Cu n r, J n . F nnHc r s Dt rrm e n Cor - t t tE t s lE n E Lr z laE r H Fn c ro n B nuc E W . F e n eu s o tt A B B Y LE I G H W r r - lr nnaS . L tE s tn Mn HN l M r c nnet Lv H n e E Lr z ns r r H R o s n rv N * E nr c C. Ruotr.t A ller u Lr r S E s s o n n s J enr uurC. T n n v e n * E owano H. Tu c r A r uonE aW oo o ru e n Cnr nr nt nE o r Z re x E R ,Ex e c u tiDviere c to r "Emerita

T h e D r . w l n g C en te l 35 WoosterStreet NewYork,NY1oo13 Telt 272-279-2t66 Faxt272-966-2976 gcenter.org www.drawin Ed ito r E ,x e cu tive A D A ML E H N E R L u c D E R Y C KDEe, sig n e r @ 2oo2TheDrawingCenter



Kay Rosen: Collages 1999-2002