2018 Triennial Archive

Kay Rosen

750 Prospect Avenue East
Cleveland, OH 44115


Check out Kay Rosen’s language-driven mural as a part of Canvas City. The mural will be viewable daily from dawn to dusk sandwiched in between the bustling bars on Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland’s Gateway District.

Experience all of the murals now on the free VR FRONT Canvas City app. Developed by the CMA’s Digital Innovation and Technology Services team. Click here to download the app.


Artist Biography

Kay Rosen’s language-based paintings, drawings, editions, collages, installations, and two videos have been exhibited in museums and institutions nationally and internationally for four decades, among them Museum of Modern Art, New York (1996, 2012); Art Gallery of New South Wales (2014-2015); The Art Institute of Chicago (2000, 2011, 2013); Contemporary Art Museum Houston (2016); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2011-2013); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2013); Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany (2013); Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein (2012); the Honolulu Museum of Art (2012); Aspen Art Museum (2001, 2012-2013); Christchurch Public Art Gallery, New Zealand (2011, 2012 ongoing); Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco (inaugural exhibition 2008); Prospect 1 New Orleans (2008); Indianapolis Museum of Art (1995, 2005 ongoing); Dunedin Public Art Gallery (2004); University Art Museum, University of California at Santa Barbara (2004); The Drawing Center, New York (2002); MASS MOCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (1999, 2001); Whitney Biennial 2000 and 1991 (as part of Group Material “AIDS Timeline”); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1994, 1996, 2004, 2010, 2011); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Otis College of Art and Design, a two-venue mid-career survey “Kay Rosen: Lifeli[k]e” curated by Connie Butler and Terry R. Myers, 1998-99; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C. (1991); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1996); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (1990); and New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1984).

Trained in languages and linguistics, Kay Rosen realized in the 1970’s that what most interested her about language had to be expressed visually, so she left academia and started over as a “self-taught” artist from square one. Drawing on her linguistic background, she began an exploration of the intersection of meaning and structure in language through pictorial means: color, materials, scale, composition, typography, and graphic design. Her investigation into alternative functions of language continues today.