Steve Roden: Open Studio
The Chinati Foundation will host an opening and reception for Artist in Residence Steve Roden on Thursday, February 25, 2010 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Locker Plant on East Oak Street. Please stop by and see the show. Roden will also give a talk about his work at the Marfa Book Company on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 7:30 PM.
Steve Roden is a multimedia artist who works in painting, drawing, sculpture, video/film, and sound. Roughly put, he approaches painting, drawing, and sculpture as daily studio practices, while his sound and film/video work is usually created in response to a specific site and its history. But Roden is an exuberantly and sometimes confoundingly cross-disciplinary artist; he likes to create situations where there is slippage between mediums. The results are often playfully synaesthetic. One small example: a Roden painting from 2002 is called Listen (4’33”), taking its cue from John Cage’s 1952 composition 4’33”, itself a paradoxical example of what could be called “scored silence” or a “silent score.”
Scores are important to Roden—he will often use a formal schematic device (e.g., the title of Jacques Cousteau’s book The Silent World) in order to generate a painting or a series of paintings. For his Silent World series, he devised a system of visal correspondences for each letter of each word in Cousteau’s title; each painting was the product of the system variously deployed. The parameters that Roden creates, however goofy or arbitrary they may seem in and of themselves, free him up to work. Structure and procedure set beforehand, he is free to improvise, to embellish and subvert. Chance and whim play a part along with the predetermined scheme, and the paintings that result never look predictable. There is the score, then there is what the conductor or musician chooses to do with the score.
Roden has been exhibiting his work and staging sound performances in galleries and museums internationally since the early 1990s. As part of Marfa Ballroom’s Marfa Sessions exhibition in 2008, he collaborated with Steven Vitiello on a sound performance created in response to (and on the site of) Donald Judd’s 100 works in mill aluminum at Chinati. At Girard College in Philadelphia in 2009, Roden exhibited a group of sound, sculpture, and letterpress works related to the site and Thomas U. Walter’s 1835 Founder’s Hall building, which had not been open to the public for a hundred years.
Roden’s show at the Locker Plant is entitled proximities. It will feature work he has made during his residency.
Steve Roden has a MFA degree from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA and a BFA from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. In recent years he has had solo exhibitions at Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects, Los Angeles; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Studio la Citta, Verona, Italy; Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York; the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena; and others. Roden lives in Pasadena.