Artwork Detail

Study for Amerika-A Refuge
1991
American, 1955–2017
Watercolor and pencil on book page
8 x 5 3/16 "
University purchase with funds from Nathan Cummings, by exchange, 1992
WU 1992.15
In 1981 the artist Tim Rollins developed a curriculum for Intermediate School 52 in the South Bronx that incorporated art-making with reading and writing for students classified as academically and emotionally at risk. Rollins and his group of young artists known as K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) followed a collaborative process of “educating by art making.” Rather than reading books as received knowledge, Rollins and K.O.S. painted directly on texts, creating works that actualized their learning experience. These works are studies made by individual K.O.S. members for a series of larger paintings based on Franz Kafka’s incomplete first novel Amerika. Written between 1912 and 1914 and published posthumously in 1927, Amerika follows teenager Karl Rossmann as he is banished from his home in Prague and sent to New York City, where he suffers one ordeal after another. In the unfinished final chapter, Rossman finds a job with a mysterious and surreal Midwestern traveling theater, where he encounters hundreds of women dressed as angels playing golden horns. Prompted by this passage, Rollins and the K.O.S. members imagined a variety of golden horns informed by such diverse sources as human anatomy manuals, comic books, popular films, and paintings. FA18 (Common Read)
Study for Amerika-A Refuge
1991
American artists’ collective, formed 1982
Watercolor and pencil on book page
8 x 5 3/16 "
University purchase with funds from Nathan Cummings, by exchange, 1992
WU 1992.15
In 1981 the artist Tim Rollins developed a curriculum for Intermediate School 52 in the South Bronx that incorporated art-making with reading and writing for students classified as academically and emotionally at risk. Rollins and his group of young artists known as K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) followed a collaborative process of “educating by art making.” Rather than reading books as received knowledge, Rollins and K.O.S. painted directly on texts, creating works that actualized their learning experience. These works are studies made by individual K.O.S. members for a series of larger paintings based on Franz Kafka’s incomplete first novel Amerika. Written between 1912 and 1914 and published posthumously in 1927, Amerika follows teenager Karl Rossmann as he is banished from his home in Prague and sent to New York City, where he suffers one ordeal after another. In the unfinished final chapter, Rossman finds a job with a mysterious and surreal Midwestern traveling theater, where he encounters hundreds of women dressed as angels playing golden horns. Prompted by this passage, Rollins and the K.O.S. members imagined a variety of golden horns informed by such diverse sources as human anatomy manuals, comic books, popular films, and paintings. FA18 (Common Read)