845 W Washington Blvd.
2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60607


send email

Gallery hours
Wednesday thru Saturday
11am to 6pm
(most Tuesdays too)










artist books, editions and more



STAN SHELLABARGER |  Performances | Work | Artist Resume | Statement | WX Shows: 2014 | 2011 | 2008 | 2004 

Untitled (Middle of Green St., near intersection W Kinzie St.)
Graphite on 100 lb drawing paper
35 3⁄4 x 35 3⁄4 inches
42 3⁄4 x 42 3⁄4 inches framed
artist-made custom wooden frame

b.1968, Sullivan, IL
Lives and work in Chicago, IL

Stan Shellabarger's performances and artist books address issues relating to the body and the Earth and employ predetermined alternative drawing methods that create minimal abstract objects. Shellabarger takes everyday activities such as walking and writing to extreme measures in endurance-based performance work. In his Equinox/Solstice projects, Shellabarger walks in a pattern in public from sunrise to sunset and he fills notebook after notebook with his signature. His repetitive performances lead to massive accumulations of marks, recording discrete units of time and space that amplify traces that humans leave on the earth. The repetition is necessary so that these extremely subtle marks emerge as visible artistic interventions.

Shellabarger's body of work, Walking Books, marry his performance and book-making impulses. To make the Walking Books, he paces on long sheets of rag paper with graphite-soled or sandpaper-soled shoes. His footsteps create a luminous graphite/gray drawing that betrays the pattern of the surface trod upon. The verso side of the drawing simultaneously becomes a beautiful blind embossment of this same surface. He folds the paper accordion style and affixes the ends to waxed MDF panels that function as the covers of the book. Shellabarger started this series of books in the summer of 2008 and made 5 of them at the Volta art fair in Basel that June. The books are dependant on their locations, which include a particle-board platform in Basel, Switzerland, a parking lot in Portland, Maine, the floor of Western Exhibitions old location, and a gravel driveway in Michigan, among several other locations. Shellabarger made a new book on each Saturday during the run of his 2008 solo show at Western Exhibitions and made several on the grounds of the 2008 NADA Art Fair.

Stan Shellabarger’s third solo show at Western Exhibitions in 2011 was reviewed in The Chicago Tribune and Art Practical; work from that show was acquired by The Art Institute of Chicago, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Baltimore Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Canada and The Newark Public Library. Photographs from Stan Shellabarger’s first-ever walking performance, One Year Circle, Easton, Maine from 1993, were included in a group show at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMAC) in Nice, France, alongside performance luminaries Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci, Chris Burden, Valie Export, and Paul McCarthy. His other solo shows include a pine-needle installation at the Hyde Park Art Center, 12 x 12 New Work/New Artists exhibition at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, among his solo shows at Western Exhibitions. His collaborative shows with his husband Dutes Miller at Western Exhibitions in 2007 and 2010, as well as his 2004 solo show at Western Exhibitions were reviewed in Art in America, artforum.com and ArtUS.

Shellabarger has performed at the VOLTA show in Basel, Switzerland, and the Time-Based Art Festival in Portland, Oregon; Macy’s downtown department store window during the Looptopia festival in Chicago; Millennium Park in Chicago; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Illinois State University in Bloomington, Illinois; The Suburban in Oak Park; and the Center of Contemporary Art in St. Louis. Shellabarger received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and lives and works in Chicago.