Pallet of artist Peter Axelsen (photo by Dr. Stephen Sheldon).
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
The Ed Paschke Art Center (EPAC) has announced 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,” noted 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 for the exhibition 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.
Exploring the Chicago Palette at Ed Paschke Art Center