Steve Roden

Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

Though better known in the field of sound art, Steve Roden is a polymath artist, most familiar as a sculptor and painter, whose work descends from West Coast abstractionists like Lee Mullican and Peter Krasnow. But Roden also has a Conceptualist’s fondness for plans and systems, combined with the Surrealist and Dadaist penchant for chance and the irrational, and the Expressionist’s drift toward the idiosyncratic and the ego, all of which are subjected to an old-school formalist’s veto.

The bulk of this show was a selection of paintings, drawings, and collages—the latest additions to an ongoing project that Roden began in 2004. Each work for the project stems from the same musical score, which the artist prefers not to identify, and is based not on listening to the music but, rather, on examining its twelve-page score. Roden has translated the notes into letters or numbers, sometimes shown

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