Friday, February 18, 2011

Painter of the week-ish: Steve Roden

Image: Steve Roden
one mountain of found breath
size: 38" x 46"
media: oil, acrylic, on linen

Image: Steve Roden
size: 36" x 48"
media: oil, acrylic, enamel, on linen

Image: Steve Roden, the brevity of resonant drifting
size: 36 " x 44"
media: oil, acrylic, on linen

I have been looking afar at paintings and also, making connections with a few more American artists. I have thus discovered some wonderful painters that my Australian readers may not know about, and which are even lesser known souls to those who gander from the great US of A.
Steve Roden is one of these.

I love his use of colour, acid and nucleic as it is, along with shabby scratchings of paint reminiscent of graffiti, which seems appropriate on these post-Space age structures, looking like Frank Gehry on steroids. Oh, if only these structures could be built! And even more beautiful is the fact that such imaginitive forms emanate from the beautiful music of Debussy, a Boroque composer of twisting soaring heights and romantic undertones.

Steve's Artists statement: "I began this series of works in early 2005, using various self made systems of translating a single line of a classical music into a series of formal decisions and rules. Depending on the amount of notes in each line of music, each painting involved between 60 and 130 notes; which then translated into the same number of decisions and actions. Of course, there are also a lot of intutive movements in response to the pre-detemined decisions.

The score, which i found in my grandmother's garage many years ago, has 96 lines. Over the next year or two i hope to create a single work for every line, and thus playing the entire score in various visual forms. These are not visualized music, nor an attempt to capture sound in image. They are works birthed from an intimate engagement with a language i cannot read properly - and like a performance of music, they have been determined by a reading of a musical score.

Along with the musical score, a number of other influences have found more intuitive ways into the works, including a 2005 visit to Corbusier's chapel at Ronchamp, Rudolf Steiner's Goetheanum and his writings on architecture, a book on music at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, Giuseppe Terrangi's Danteum, Alexander Graham Bell's kites, Myron Stout's writings, and Alvaro Sza's Serpentine Gallery Pavillion."

How cool is that? (and I hope I get to Ronchamp one day, too!)

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