Kara Rooney

I’m a visual artist but also a writer. This complicates my relationship to form for just as I seek to understand the ways in which words are stitched together—the spaces that exist between reading and cognition—my visual work attempts to wrestle with aspects of the unseen, the nonplace, or moment prior to recollection. In both instances, I’m working with the ephemeral: the fleetingness of sound or movement as it fades out of existence and the visual cue beyond that which is visible.

While my work does not address a specific cultural group, it is expressly concerned with the power of language in the construction of identities and the formation of our personal and collective histories. 

Through collaboration and dialogue, along with the creation of interactive environments and sculptural assemblages that invoke the openly interpretive nature of poetry, my intention is to highlight the slippage between our sense of memory, social interaction and linguistic understanding.

The resulting installations and multidisciplinary performances, which rely heavily on improvisation and trust between the collaborators and audience ask, “what culturally, politically, personally, has brought us here?” “How does one situate themselves in the world and how does language—in relation to gender, race, class—determine the ways in which others place us in that world?” 

It is through these interactive encounters that I am able to explore the myriad ways personal history, cultural reference points and the ideological construction of world-views result in (and celebrate) internalizations of difference. It is therefore with a diverse public in mind that this work facilitates situations that engage the intellect while also tapping into the body’s capacity for understanding and relation.

Included in my submission are a variety of projects that span the past four years, all of which overlap in terms of material and concept. Communicative systems, particularly the limits of spoken and written exchange, is their common through-line.

2009 M.F.A. School of Visual Arts, New York, NY 2001 B.A. Bates College, Lewiston, ME
1999 Parsons School of Design, Paris, France


2018 As Above/So Below, Secret Dungeon, Brooklyn, NY
But For What’s My Axis? Part 2. Desire, Fridman Gallery, New York, NY

2017 Group Motivation: Eve Ackroyd/Kara Rooney, Cindy Rucker Gallery, New York, NY
But For What’s My Axis. Part 1. Empire, TOTAH, New York, NY
Run From the Shadows, HIT Gallery, Bratislava, Slovakia 2016 reVerb, Fridman Gallery, New York, NY
Translation (Preklad), The MeetFactory, Prague, Czech Republic
In Apogee, Berlinskej Model, Prague, Czech Republic

2015 Trace/Matter, Curated by Charlotta Kotik, FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2013 Soliloquies for Former Narcissistic Acts, Dow Center for Visual Arts, Interlochen, MI

2011 Monuments of Language, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, MO

2008 Artist of the Month, NJ State Council for the Arts, www.jerseyarts.com

2003 Young Artist Series, Edward Williams Gallery, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Hackensack, NJ


2017 Occupy Mana: Artists Need to Create on the Same Scale that Society Has the Capacity to Destroy, Part 1, curated by Rail Curatorial Projects, Mana Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ
Politicizing Space, curated by Charlotta Kotik, Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, New York, NY Past Continuous, curated by Norm Paris and Jackie Hoving, Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Brooklyn, NY

2016 Cosmic Connections, TOTAH, New York, NY
Impressions of Karamay, Karamay Museum of Fine Arts, Karamay, Xinjiang, China
Time After Time, curated by Jaro Varga and Zuzana Jakalova, Kostka Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic

2015 Dipthong, curated by Stephen Maine and Gelah Penn, Shirley Fiterman Art Center, New York, NY
Hand/Made: The Digital Age and the Industrial Revolution, Kleinert/James Center for the Arts, Woodstock, NY
Cuts Noon Light, Brian Morris Gallery, New York, NY
Making History, Arts in Bushwick, Storefront TenEyck, Brooklyn, NY

2014 SELECT Art Fair, Gallery Sensei, Miami, FL The Search, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Milk and Night, Sensei Gallery, New York, NY
In Between Days, Driscoll Babcock Gallery, New York, NY
Anamnesis, curated by Jeanne Brasille, Walsh Gallery, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
The Heroic Object, Parallel Art Space, Brooklyn, NY
The Last Brucennial, Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY
A ‘Womanhouse’ or Roaming House? A Room of One’s Own, Today, curated by Mira Schor, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Sideshow Nation: At the Alamo II, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Taking Pleasure, curated by Katherine Mojzsis, Gallery Bergen, Bergen Community College, NJ

2013 Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Year I, curated by Phong Bui, Industry City, Brooklyn, NY New York Bound: International Bookart Biennial, Islip Art Museum, Islip, NY
Communication Breakdown, HotWood Arts Center, Brooklyn, NY Sideshow Nation, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Memphis Social, sponsored by Apexart, Memphis, TN
The (UN)FAIR, nAscent Art, New York, NY

2012 Constructed Ambiguity, City Without Walls (cWOW), Newark, NJ Vertical Repose, Panepinto Galleries, Jersey City, NJ
Discourse News, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York, NY
Soul Seekers: Interpreting the Icon, Trinity Museum, New York, NY New Media: New Forms, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ
In Perpetuum/Forever, Queens College Art Center, Queens, NY. MIC:CHECK, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2011 Florence Biennale, Invitee, Florence, Italy
Chain Letter, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2010 Text/Image, NJ Arts Guild, Rahway, NJ Higher Ed, OK Hotel, Seattle, WA

2009 OCTET, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey
The Wassaic Project Summer Festival, Wassaic, NY
ArcheTime, Tank Space for Performing and Visual Arts, New York, NY Tabula Rasa, Gallery Aferro, Newark, NJ
Small and Miniatures, Midday Gallery, Englewood, NJ

2017 Cultural Space Subsidy Grantee, Two Trees, Brooklyn, NY
2015 Smackmellon Hot Picks, 2015-16, Brooklyn, NY
2014 Individual Artist Grant, juror Pablo Helguera, The Santo Foundation, St. Louis, MO

2018 Palazzo Monti, Artist in Residence, Brescia, Italy

2016 The MeetFactory, Artist in Residence, Prague, Czech Republic

2015 Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, Artist Fellow, Brooklyn, NY 2015 La Quinonera, Artist in Residence, Mexico City, MX

2013 David Wolfe Editions, Artist in Residence, Portland, ME

2012 In Perpetuum/Forever, Artist in Residence, Queens College Art Center, Queens, NY

2011 Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Artist in Residence, Kansas City, MO

2003 Lower East Side Printshop, Inc., Monthly Keyholder, New York, NY
MassArt Artist in Residence Program, Bennington College, Bennington, VT


2018 Visiting Artist, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

2016 Bad Girls and Brooklynites, The Review Panel, hosted by ArtCritical, Brooklyn, NY
Artist Talk, Beijing Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China
Women Art Critics in the Age of the Internet, Ceres Gallery, New York, NY Art in the First Person Lecture Series, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY

2015 A Community of M/E/A/N/I/N/G, CAA Annual Conference, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY Visiting Critic, Hoffberger School of Painting, MICA, Baltimore, MD
Visiting Critic, SUNY Purchase, Purchase, NY
The Wolf I Feed, Panel Discussion, Brian Morris Gallery, New York, NY Visiting Critic, New York Academy of Art, New York, NY

2014 Upending the 20%, Discussion with Sue Scott, New York Academy of Art, NY Ephemeral, Unraveling History, Panel Discussion, Adelphi University, NY
Art Talk Series, Brooklyn Arts Space, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn, NY Taking Pleasure, Panel Discussion, Bergen College, Paramus, NJ
A Womanhouse or a Roaming House, A Room of One’s Own, Today, Panel Discussion, A.I.R. Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Thoughts on Joseph Beuys: A Conversation between Joan Waltemath and Kara L. Rooney, Joseph Beuys: Process 1971 – 1985, Rooster Gallery, New York, NY
Visiting Critic, Hoffberger School of Painting, MICA, Baltimore, MD

2013 Visiting Artist Lecture, Art Forum Series, Montclair University, Montclair, NJ

2012 Constructed Ambiguity, Panel Discussion, City Without Walls, Newark, NJ

2009 The Shift in Consciousness: Orality to Literacy and Back Again, Stony Brook University, Philosophy and Art
Graduate Conference, New York, NY

Materiality (Documents of Contemporary Art series) edited by Petra Lange-Berndt, co-published by Whitechapel Gallery, London and MIT Press, 2015
Luc Tuymans: On&By, published by White Chapel Gallery, London and MIT Press, 2013
Infinite Instances: Studies and Images of Time, ed. Buzz Poole and Eli Stockwell (Mark Batty Publisher, Inc.), 2012 M/E/A/N/I/N/G: 25th Anniversary Edition, edited by Susan Bee and Mira Schor, 2011
The Narrative (R)evolution: A Re-Writing of Ideas in the Interplay of Language, Art and Cyberspace (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller, Germany), 2010
PERFORMA 07: Everywhere and All at Once, ed. RoseLee Goldberg, JRP|Ringier, 2010

“Group Motivation at Cindy Rucker Gallery,” Artnet, January 2018
“Eve Ackroyd & Kara Rooney: Group Motivation,” by Kaitlyn Kramer, The Brooklyn Rail, Feb 2018
“Run from the Shadows”, exhibition review, Galeria HIT, Slovakia, FlashArtMagazine, Issue No. 41
“Blurred Boundaries and Other Connections,” by Thomas Micchelli, Hyperallergic, Oct 2016
“Reprising Postminimalism in 4 New York Shows: Gego, Nasreen Mohamedi, Ruth Hardinger and Kara Rooney,” by Roger Denson, The Huffington Post, April 2016
“Highlights from the Sharpe-Walentas Open Studios,” ArtInfo, May 2016
“Mining the Invisible” A Conversation with Sara Jimenez, ArtFile Magazine, Dec 20
“The Presence of Absence: Three Artists at Brian Morris,” Hyperallergic, July 2015
“The Artist as Social Entrepreneur,” The Conversation Series by Brett Wallace, LinkedIn, June 2015
Interview with Gorky’s Granddaughter, March 2015, www.gorkysgranddaughter.com
“Young Americans at Driscoll Babcock Gallery,” Artslant, August 2014
Interview with Disonare Magazine, www.disonare.tumblr.com
“A ‘Womanhouse’ or a Roaming House? A Room of One’s Own, Today,” The Brooklyn Rail, Feb 2014
“Mira Schor Investigates What The Home Means To Contemporary Women Artists,” The Huffington Post, January 2014 “Finding Inspiration in a Borrowed Past,” The New York Times, June 2012

2017 Triad, FiveMyles Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2014 Joseph Beuys: Process 1971-1985, Rooster Gallery, New York, NY 2013 A ≠ A, Panepinto Galleries, Jersey City, NJ
Paper Goods, Susan Eley Fine Art, New York, NY
2012 Fictitious Truths: Exercises in Realism, Rooster Gallery, New York, NY
MATERIAL TAK, Panepinto Galleries, Jersey City, NJ Kylla Kylla, Panepinto Galleries, Jersey City, NJ

Editor-at-Large/Contributing Critic, The Brooklyn Rail, New York, NY
Faculty, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI