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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring John Houck, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Jesse Benson (b. 1978) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Benson's complex practice is driven by the perversion of roles and representation that characterize his generational moment. In obsessively "skillful" objects like the Bureau Paintings, Catalog Page Paintings, Future Sculptures, and Repaintings, Benson constantly questions the authenticity of the document, the function of style, and the value of both art and artist. Benson is equally committed to a curatorial/organizational practice that openly overlaps and inspires his object production.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by Nick SeierupPrincipal | Design Director of Perkins+Will, Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3, 2015.


  • Marisa Silver is the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling novel Mary Coin. Her other books include the novels No Direction Home and The God of War (a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), as well as two story collections, Babe in Paradise and Alone with You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver lives in Los Angeles.

  • Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.  His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999) The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan.

  • Otis faculty member Dana Berman Duff will present a program of short 16mm and digital films in her "Catalogue" series.

  • Performing the Grid is an exhibition that brings together an intergenerational group of artists and cultural producers that utilize the grid as a performative strategy to examine, challenge and position philosophical, political, social, domestic, corporeal, and mythical perspectives. Rosalind Kraus famously wrote that the grid “functions to declare the modernity of modern art” in her 1979 essay, Grids.


Steve Roden

Steve RodenSteve RodenSteve Roden


Artist Steve Roden’s ('86) practice defies definition. In the U.S., he is known as a painter, but he morphs into a sound artist in Europe. “I like to think of myself as just a guy who makes stuff in my garage,” says Roden, whose work incorporates his myriad interests—from drawings made using stencils manufactured by Mattel to video works featuring Martha Graham’s ephemera.

At Otis, Roden's work moved from violent, figurative works to abstraction while working with visual artist Roy Dowell. The late artist Mike Kelley, an older punk rocker, was also in Roden’s orbit. The two continued to work together as Roden pursued graduate studies. Where others might have stifled Roden’s evolving style, Otis provided an environment that encouraged exploration. He cites his final drawing class project made with good friend and late conceptual artist Ray Navarro as an example. The duo made a video filled with “as many offensive, ridiculous things we could possibly think of.” The pair earned A’s. Perhaps Otis’s most lasting influence is Roden’s late-blooming love for reading, which he found during a class with novelist Bernard Cooper. “As a kid, I hated reading,” says Roden, “Now, everything I do comes from reading.”

Roden has performed his soundworks worldwide including Serpentine Gallery London, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, DCA Dundee Scotland, Redcat Los Angeles, Crawford Gallery Cork Ireland, as well as performance tours of Brazil and Japan. Recent performances include John Cage’s Cartridge Music with composer Mark Trayle at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, and a tribute to Rolf Julius at the Hamburger Banhof Berlin. Since 1993, Roden has released numerous CDs under his own name as well as under the moniker “in be tween noise” on various record labels internationally. In July 2012, he performed a sound piece in the Rothko Chapel in collaboration with the Menil Collection, Texas.

Roden’s works are in the permanent collection of LACMA; MCA San Diego; MOCA, and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece.

(excerpted from an essay by Carren Jao)