Sep 19th 2015

The Ed Paschke Art Center (EPAC) announces the opening of “La Palette: The Chicago Palette,” Dr. Stephen Sheldon’s in-depth examination of the artist’s palette as a microcosm of the finished work. “La Palette” opens at EPAC (5415 W. Higgins Avenue) on Saturday, September 19 and runs through Sunday, November 29, along with a series of artist lectures by artists featured in the exhibition.

In “La Palette,” Dr. Sheldon places high-resolution photographs of the artist’s palettes alongside the original finished works of a number of Chicago-based contemporary painters, including William Conger, the master of Chicago abstraction, Roger Brown, whose work was exhibited at the DC Moore and Maccarone Gallery this past summer, and Michelle Grabner, who curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial. This mixed media exhibition will include eight original paintings along with the artists’ physical palettes and works of ephemera. The exhibition will also feature Roger Brown’s “Dorian Grey” which has been seldom seen by the public.

Sheldon’s portraits reveal a diversity in the artist’s technique, some palettes are organized by academic methods of color theory while others depict the artist’s mood or focus at the time the work is created, and are arranged by their own whims. The exhibition taps into the growing field of technical art history which seeks to understand an artist through his or her process.

“Dr. Sheldon reveals new insights into the artist’s working methods and creative process from a new perspective,” said Vesna K. Stelcer, chair of the Ed Paschke foundation. “This exhibition urges viewers to understand the canvas as a process, not just the finished product.”

Dr. Sheldon is not only an authority on pediatric sleep disorders or a faculty member at Norhtwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He also holds a certificate of Graduation in Professional Photography from the New York Institute of Photography. Dr. Sheldon began combining his passion for neurobiology with photography in 2009. Since then he has taken numerous high-resolution macro photographs of artists’ palette’s, or as he calls them “subconscious signatures.” Dr. Sheldon recalls Ed Paschke himself saying, “You can tell a true artist from their palette.”

The full list of featured artists include, Peter Axelsen, Roger Brown, William Conger, Michelle Grabner, Richard Hull, Wesley Kimler, David Klamen, Vera Klement, Amy Lowry, James Mesplé, Anita Miller, Tom O’Gorman, Ed Paschke, Sandra Perlow, Clarrisse Perrette, Nancy Rosen and James Valerio.

About Ed Paschke
Born June 22, 1939 and raised on the North side of Chicago, Ed Paschke’s father’s sketches and Disney animation drew him to art at an early age. He earned his BFA in 1961 and MFA in 1970, both from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). He established his reputation as a leading artist of his generation early on, and began showing at the Hyde Park Art Center with a rotating cast of artists. Soon dubbed the Chicago Imagists, they were recognized for their works highly finished surfaces and busy compositions. Ultimately, Paschke would go on to distinguish himself by using tabloids and photographs as source material, as well as by adding a social or political dimension to much of his work. Paschke died suddenly in his sleep from heart failure on November 24, 2004 at the age of 65. His work is in countless private collections throughout the world, as well as major museums both here and abroad, including The Art Institute and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, among others.

Image credit: Pallet of artist Peter Axelsen (photo by Dr. Stephen Sheldon)

About the Ed Paschke Art Center
The Mission of the Ed Paschke Art Center is to preserve and provide public access to the work of the legendary Ed Paschke; to serve as an educational resource for youth, adults, artists and academics; and to function as an accessible platform for artists to showcase their work. The Ed Paschke Art Center hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mondays through Sundays; admission is free. For more information about the Ed Paschke Art Center or “Paschke in the Park,” call 312.533.4911 or visit

The Center has been funded through the generous support of The Rabb Family Foundation and includes partnerships with the 3M Company, the School of the Art Institute and the Block Museum of Art.

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