new-york

Kay Rosen

Yvon Lambert New York

In a career going back to the late 1970s, Kay Rosen has made a medium out of language the way, say, Rachel Lachowicz has made a medium out of lipstick: Words are for her a found material with embedded meanings she can mine and play on, not just changing their context (the basic Duchampian maneuver) but boldly if slyly reshaping them. She has a keen ear—and, importantly, an eye—for puns and homonyms, rhymes and resemblances: a writer’s business. But she works on the wall and on canvas and paper, phrasing her essays as installations, paintings, and drawings, and she has the visual artist’s absorption in form and scale. Color, too, is integral to her work; in fact, the spooner- and malaprop-like constructions in which she delights are often dependent on it, or on adjusted letter placements that no typesetter would allow.

Rosen’s works often touch on politics, at least implicitly. To point out

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