Steve Roden (April 27, 1964 – September 6, 2023) was an illustrious figure in the world of contemporary art and music. As an American artist and musician, he left an indelible mark with his distinctive contributions to both sound and visual art.

Lowercase Music and Notable Works

One of Roden’s standout achievements is his pioneering work in lowercase music. This unique compositional style is characterized by the amplification of quiet and often unnoticed sounds, transforming them into intricate and richly textured soundscapes. Among his extensive discography and sound art projects, a notable mention is Forms of Paper, a work specially commissioned by the Los Angeles public library.

Exhibitions and Recognitions

Throughout his illustrious career, Steve Roden’s work was showcased and celebrated in various renowned institutions:

  • In 2013, his art was featured alongside Jenny Perlin at the Cleveland Institute of Art and had a solo exhibition at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions.
  • 2010 saw a mid-career survey at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, a significant event curated by Howard Fox.

His solo exhibitions spanned across numerous prestigious venues such as:

  • Creative Media Center, City University of Hong Kong
  • Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA
  • Chinati Foundation, Marfa
  • Henry Art Museum, Seattle
  • National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens
  • San Francisco Art Institute
  • Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art and Science
  • Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena
  • Tang Museum at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs
  • Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum

Additionally, Roden’s work was celebrated in group exhibitions at venues including:

  • Fellows of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
  • San Francisco State University Fine Arts Gallery
  • Las Vegas Art Museum
  • Mercosur Biennial in Porto Allegre, Brazil
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
  • Serpentine Gallery, London
  • Drawing Room, London
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla
  • Sculpture Center, New York
  • Centre Georges Pompidou Museum, Paris
  • UCLA Hammer Museum
  • Miami MOCA
  • Drawing Center, New York

In terms of accolades, Roden was honored with the 2011 Artist Grant of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and was a proud recipient of a California Community Foundation Getty Fellowship Grant.

Personal Life

A significant challenge in Roden’s life was his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease in 2017. Tragically, he passed away on September 6, 2023, but his artistic legacy continues to inspire and resonate with enthusiasts worldwide.