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Ian Berry

Ian Berry is Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs and Malloy Curator at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College.

Titles by This Editor

A History
Edited by Ian Berry

In August 1981, artist and activist Tim Rollins was recruited by the principal of Intermediate School 52 in the South Bronx to develop a curriculum that combined art-making with lessons in reading and writing for students classified as "at risk." On the first day of school, Rollins told his students, "Today we are going to make art, but we are also going to make history." This book unfolds that history, offering the first comprehensive catalog of work created collaboratively by Rollins and several generations of students, now known as the "Kids of Survival."

Rollins and his students developed a way of working that combined art-making with reading literature and writing personal narratives: Rollins or a student would read aloud from classic literary texts by such authors as Shakespeare and Orwell while the rest of the class drew or wrote on the pages being read, connecting the stories to their own experiences. Often, Rollins and his students (who later named themselves "Kids of Survival" or K.O.S.) cut out book pages and laid them on a grid on canvas before undertaking their graphic interventions. This process developed into the group's signature style, which they applied to literary texts, musical scores, and other printed matter. This book and the accompanying major museum retrospective document the history of the groundbreaking practice of Tim Rollins and K.O.S., with full color images of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and prints. These include a caricature of Jesse Helms with an animal body drawn on the pages of Animal Farm; graffiti-like images painted in acrylic on the pages of Frankenstein; a gleaming pattern of fantastical golden horns on Kafka's Amerika; and a series of red letter A's on The Scarlet Letter.

Distributed for the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College

Essays by: Julie Ault, Susan Cahan, David Deitcher, Eleanor Heartney, Larry Rinder, James Romaine

Interview with the artist by Ian Berry

EXHIBITION
Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: A History
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs
February 28–August 30, 2009

The Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
September 10–December 6, 2009

The Frye Art Museum, Seattle
January–April 2010

Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler
Edited by Ian Berry and Bill Arning

During their decade-long collaboration (1985-1995), Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler produced some of the most influential conceptual art projects of the time. Among their witty and stimulating installations and outdoor projects was Camouflaged History, a house painted in a U.S. Army-designed camouflage pattern using 72 commercial paint colors included in the municipally-approved "authentic colors" of historic Charleston, South Carolina. The commercial name of each paint, commemorating an aspect of the city's history, is also painted on the house, revealing and illuminating the lingering Civil War-era past of the region. Like the Earthwork pioneers, Ericson and Ziegler took the whole country as their working space; but rather than impose a conspicuous work of art upon a site or situation, they devised projects that altered sites subtly, creating a patchwork of poetic narratives and histories to be excavated. The windows rescued from the old National Licorice factory in Philadelphia in the title piece America Starts Here—which takes its name from the slogan used to promote Pennsylvania tourism during the 1980s—are hung according to the location of the original windows in the factory; the cracks in the glass echo the famous cracks in two of Philadelphia's tourist attractions, the Liberty Bell and Marcel Duchamp's The Large Glass.

Kate Ericson's death from cancer in 1995 at age 39 made the body of Ericson and Ziegler's collaborative work finite. America Starts Here offers a generous selection of Ericson and Ziegler's work, with much of it reproduced in color, and provides a critical analysis of the artists' still under-appreciated position in the history of twentieth-century art. It accompanies the first retrospective exhibition of Ericson and Ziegler's work.

Copublished with The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College and List Visual Arts Center at MIT.