new-york

Kay Rosen, Constructed Landscape (Winter), 2011, enamel sign paint on canvas, 22 1/2 x 30".

Kay Rosen

Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Kay Rosen, Constructed Landscape (Winter), 2011, enamel sign paint on canvas, 22 1/2 x 30".

Over the past four decades, Kay Rosen has made works that stage demonstrations of language’s materiality––its visual and aural qualities––by marshaling her unique brand of wordplay and various typefaces, colors, and (most important) arrangements of spacing and scale. She has revealed, time and again, that words and phrases can distort, amplify, and sometimes even negate their own meaning. Rosen’s cohesive ouevre has always telegraphed her writerly obsessions more than any painterly concerns, and has often evoked, in my mind, one author in particular (who is also a woman born in 1947). When, in 2009, James Wood characterized Lydia Davis’s very short-form fiction as “probably unique in American writing, in its combination of lucidity, aphoristic brevity, formal originality, sly comedy, metaphysical bleakness, philosophical pressure, and human wisdom,” did anyone else think of Rosen’s

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