Tim Rollins and K.O.S. - The Black Spot (3 stars)

This article is from 2012

Tim Rollins and K.O.S. - The Black Spot

Energetic and honest response to great works of literature

The works by Tim Rollins and K.O.S. in The Black Spot are every bit as powerful as the story behind them; Rollins, working as a teacher in the Bronx in the 80s, developed a collaborative and responsive strategy for making art with his disadvantaged pupils, combining it with lessons in reading, writing and literature. One would read aloud from a novel while the others would draw, relating the words to their own experiences and creating their own very personal responses.

In this exhibition of works by Rollins and the Kids of Survival, the energy is palpable, and the responses to the literature on which the artists have drawn, both metaphorically and literally, are honest and raw. Appropriations and reworkings of texts by Shakespeare, George Orwell, HG Wells and others are striking and dynamic, and none more so than the responses to Kafka’s Amerika: surreal, playful and organic orchestras of gold watercolour, echoing the book’s hopeful turn of events. Also striking and relevant is a work made this year with 24 young people from the Lothians in response to On the Origin of Species, reflecting the truly evolving nature of Rollins’ work as an inspirational teacher and collaborative partner.

Talbot Rice Gallery, 650 2210, until 20 Oct (Mon–Sat from 4 Sep), free.

Tim Rollins & KOS: The Black Spot

  • 3 stars

Exhibition of work by art collective founded in 1984 when Tim Rollins, an art teacher at a South Bronx middle school, put on an exhibition with a group of at-risk students who called themselves KOS (Kids of Survival). Since then Rollins & KOS have exhibited all over the world, exploring the role of education in art…

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