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Odd Odd Otto

A work made of enamel sign paint on canvas.
© 1989 Kay Rosen

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  • A work made of enamel sign paint on canvas.




Kay Rosen
American, born 1943

About this artwork

Kay Rosen uses words and letters as a means of examining the ways in which language structures knowledge— particularly in terms of awareness of self and place. Generally concerned with formal configurations of words and letters and with the gamesmanship involved in the deconstruction and reconstruction of language, her exceedingly clever, diagrammatic works consist of common phrases, poetic verse, and word plays based on synonyms and homonyms. These black-and-white paintings form a cornerstone of Rosen’s work from the late 1980s onward, reflecting an early and ongoing interest in themes such as systems and symmetry, the structure of individual letterforms, comparative structures of words, and humor.


Currently Off View


Contemporary Art


Kay Rosen


Odd Odd Otto


United States (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Enamel sign paint on canvas


40.6 × 25.4 cm (16 × 10 in.)

Credit Line

Walter M. Campana Memorial, Mr. and Mrs. Frank H. Armstrong, and Joseph N. Eisendrath prize funds; Virginia K. Headburg and Edward and Eleanor DeWitt funds

Reference Number



© 1989 Kay Rosen

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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