Tim Rollins and K.O.S. | Guests | deFINE ART 2014

Courtesy of the artists and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong. Photography by Gregory La Rico.

Tim Rollins and K.O.S.

In his early career, Tim Rollins (b. 1955, Pittsfield, Maine) taught 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 recognized at the London Film Festival, Cinema of the Real, Paris, and the Hamptons International Film Festival, New York.

Tim Rollins and K.O.S. are based in New York City.

On the Web


Rollins studied fine art at the University of Maine in Orono and earned a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He pursued graduate studies in art education and philosophy at New York University.

Notable exhibitions

  • Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy
  • Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland
  • Hayward Gallery, London
  • Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial

A retrospective of the group’s 20-year career opened at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York, in 2009, and travelled to the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, later that year. A fully illustrated hardcover catalog, co-published by the Tang Museum and MIT Press, accompanied the exhibition.

Public and private collections

  • Dallas Museum of Art, Texas
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
  • Tate Modern, London
  • Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.