Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Steve Roden. Over the past 20 years, Steve Roden has developed a highly idiosyncratic aesthetic language from a complex practice where he distills personal meaning, serial processes and repeating systems in paintings, sculptures, performances, and sound installations. Often relating to text and sound, his work embodies a highly nuanced balance between intuitive, handmade forms and complex conceptual systems. On view in the exhibition will be a series of new paintings, several large scale works on paper, a suite of sculptures and a film based on a few stones that have both a personal and a larger cultural meaning to the artist.
In the fall of 2008, a month or so after my grandmother died, I visited her sculpture studio and brought home several stones she had started to work on but never finished. The stones resonated with me because they were in process and unresolved – existing somewhere between nature and sculpture. I also found in her studio a small piece of paper on which she had written a quote by Henry Moore. While I tentatively approached the use of these stones in a series of drawings in early 2009, it wasnt until the spring of 2010, during a residence at Chinati, that I began to find ways to work in deeper conversation with the stones, returning for the first time in nearly 20 years to the idea of making work based on observing things in the manner of making a still life. Of course, I was not interested in making a still life, but I wanted to allow the stones to challenge my process.
As I began these works, a number of reference points entered the conversation: the hermetic and intimately personal nature of Jasper John’s post-70’s paintings (as well as the similarity of his hatch marks to my grandmothers chiseling), Chinese scholar rocks, a small display of crystals and stones I had seen on a desk in Goethe’s house in Weimar 8 years ago, Christian Wolff’s score “stones” which I have carried in my wallet for years, some early films of Dennis Oppenheim, Gary Beidler’s film hand held day, Jackson Pollocks awkward 1953 painting Portrait and a Dream – and most importantly the way certain analog activities, materials, and surfaces – hands, stones, paper, pencils, paint, film, drawing, wrapping, rubbing, etc. – seemed to relate more to a history of ritual, than to contemporary art (I’m talking about the inside, not the outside).
In the process of working on paintings, drawings, sculpture, film and sound, these stones were consistently referenced for visual decisions. Some of the works also contain information derived from scores based on the vowel structure and/or musical note structure (a-g) of my grandmothers Henry Moore quote…
I’ve titled the show stones throw not only for its reference to stones, but because I like how the phrase is used to describe a short, yet inconsistent (and potentially unknown or un-measurable), distance from a source. All of the works in the exhibition exist a stones throw from the stones that fueled their making… Steve Roden, February 2011
Steve Roden’s work was recently featured in a mid-career survey at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, curated by Howard Fox, and in a solo exhibition at the Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA, curated by Rebecca McGrew. Solo exhibitions include the Chinati Foundation, Marfa; the Henry Art Museum, Seattle; the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens; the San Francisco Art Institute; the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science; the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena; the Tang Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs; and the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, among others. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Fellows of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the San Francisco State University, Fine Arts Gallery, San Francisco; the Las Vegas Art Museum, Las Vegas; the
Oakland; the Mercosur Biennial in Porto Allegre, Brazil; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; the Serpentine Gallery, London; the Drawing Room, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla; the Sculpture Center, New York; the Centre George Pompidou Museum, Paris; the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles & Miami MOCA, Miami, the Drawing Center, New York. Steve Roden was also a recent recipient of the 2011 Artist Grant of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and recently of a California Community Foundation Getty Fellowship Grant.
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects is located at 6006 Washington Blvd in Culver City, 1 block west of La Cienega at Sentney Avenue, on the south side of the street. Gallery parking is available across the street from the gallery off of Sentney Avenue. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am – 6 pm and by appointment.