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Tim Rollins and K.O.S.

Tim Rollins (b. 1955, Pittsfield, Maine) studied fine art at the University of Maine and earned a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York.  After graduate studies in art education and philosophy at New York University, Rollins began teaching art for special education middle school students in a South Bronx public school.  In 1984, he launched the Art and Knowledge Workshop in the Bronx together with a group of at-risk students who called themselves K.O.S. (Kids of Survival). In 1997, the documentary, Kids of Survival: The Art and Life of Tim Rollins & K.O.S. was widely received at the London Film Festival, Cinema de Real, France and the Hamptons International Film Festival.

Since its inception, the group has exhibited extensively worldwide, including Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. (2011); Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy (2011); Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2012), and Hayward Gallery, London (2012). In 2006, Tim Rollins and K.O.S. were included in the Whitney Biennial. A retrospective of the group’s 20-year career opened at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in 2009 and travelled to the Frye Museum in Seattle and the ICA Philadelphia later that year. A fully illustrated hardcover catalogue, co-published by the Tang Museum and MIT Press, accompanied the exhibition. The group’s work is represented in prestigious public and private collections, including the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum of Art, Washington D.C.; Tate Modern, London;, and Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington D.C. Tim Rollins and K.O.S. are based in New York City.