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“Purple with love’s wound”
Tim Rollins + K.O.S.
September 19 - November 9, 2003

Exhibition Gallery Talk by Tim Rollins
Friday, September 19, 5 pm
Reception following
5:30–7:30 pm In the Museum

A successful effort on the part of Tim Rollins in 1982 to get middle-school students in the South Bronx to explore literature through the visual arts has become a full-time vocation. Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) pursue an ambitious program of collaboration with communities throughout the United States and abroad.

The University of Virginia Arts Board brought Rollins to Charlottesville for a year’s residency beginning in the fall of 2002. Rollins lectured and gave workshop training to U.Va. students, who in the spring of 2003 implemented a project that he and K.O.S. had developed. Participants in the Museum’s Early Visions program and Summer Arts @ the Museum were among those who met and worked with Rollins on this project. In their study and research of Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream the theme of Puck and his magic flower came to the fore as the inspiration to pursue visually: what does this flower, “purple with love’s wound,” look like? Spring and early summer workshops with community and university students put on paper the flower forms from their imagination.

A selection of twenty-four have been adhered by Rollins and K.O.S. to pages from the play’s text and are the featured piece in the exhibition. Eight other collaborative works on view are responses to as diverse works of literature as Temptation of St. Anthony by Gustave Flaubert, Hayden’s The Creation, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, I See the Promised Land by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs, Shakespeare’s Macbeth and another in their series on Kafka’s Amerika.

A catalogue accompanies the exhibition, which has received support from the Arts Board, Arts$, and Arts Enhancement Funds.


Tim Rollins + K.O.S.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
(after Harriet Jacobs)
, 2001
Satin ribbons, book pages on canvas
62 inches x 52 inches
Lent by Tim Rollins and K.O.S.
Image © the Artist