I was born to love not to hate (5), 2014, mixed media on paper backed with fabric, 116” x 72”. Permanent collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Antigone 3000 (I was born to love), 1 and 2, 2014 mixed media on paper, 44” x 30″. Private collection.
I was born to love not to hate (1) and (2), 2014, mixed media on paper backed with fabric
I was born to love not to hate (3), 2015, and I was born to love not to hate (4), 2014, mixed media on paper, 126” x 72”
Photos courtesy of PMCA. Photo credit: Don Milici
Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden: “These Carnations Defy Language”
Opening: Saturday, June 13, 7-9pm
June 14, 2015–November 1, 2015
Pasadena Museum of California Art
Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden: “These Carnations Defy Language” began as a seed, a conversation between the artists regarding an anthology of the French poet Francis Ponge. This exhibition stems from that conversation, which presents new individual and co-created works by Grant and Roden that highlight their use of textual sources and their own conceptual systems to inspire and structure their production.
Grant’s paintings from her new series Antigone 3000 continue her inquiry of literary texts as source material for her imagery. The works in “These Carnations Defy Language” explore and map the Greek myth of Antigone from its original basis in Sophocles’s text to a current exchange on the importance of Antigone to future generations with Pasadena-based poet and artist Kate Durbin. Roden introduces a new body of work titled snowbirds don’t fly. His paintings, drawings, and video respond to various significant childhood images, experiences, and encounters, including Neal Adams’s artistry for issue 85 of DC’s Green Lantern/Green Arrow comic, a group of Domus magazines found in his father’s basement, and a Hebrew prayer book belonging to his great grandfather.
In addition, the exhibition includes a collaborative series of works on paper that explore a text that has inspired both artists: Francis Ponge’s Mute Objects of Expression, a book of poems from which the exhibition’s title is taken. Pushing the artists’ interests in language and systems beyond the gallery walls, “These Carnations Defy Language” will feature a brochure with an essay by Leslie Jones, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings at LACMA.
Antigone 3000: Re-imagining Antigone in Word and Art
Saturday, June 20, 2015 | 2:00pm–4:00pm
Pasadena artist and poet Kate Durbin and “These Carnations Defy Language” artist Alexandra Grant are in an ongoing dialogue about the importance of Sophocles’s Antigone. Join Durbin in creating your own version of Antigone’s story in the form of a poetic text and a large collaborative collage, culminating in a dynamic group reading. Free with admission. Free for PMCA members. Space is limited. Email RSVP[at]pmcaonline[dot]org
Artists’ Walkthrough | “These Carnations Defy Language”
Sunday, June 28, 2015 | 3:00pm
Artists Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden lead a walkthrough of their exhibition “These Carnations Defy Language.” Free with admission. Free for PMCA members.
In Dialogue: A Conversation with Alexandra Grant, Leslie Jones, and Steve Roden
Sunday, September 27, 2015 | 1:00pm
“These Carnations Defy Language” artists Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden discuss their individual sources and processes as well as their collaborative works. Leslie Jones, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings at LACMA, moderates. Free with admission. Free for PMCA members.
Megan Abrahams, “Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden: These Carnations Defy Language,” Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, October. http://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/roden-these-carnations-defy-language/3278
Sharon Mizota, “Two artists try to portray the indescribable at Pasadena Museum of California Art,” LA Times, August 28. www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-alexandra-grant-steve-roden-pasadena-museum-of-california-art-20150824-story.html