Stephen Warde Anderson: Attention to Detail

Stephen Warde Anderson (American, b. 1953).  The Jinni , 1995. Tempera and gouache on shade cloth, 24 x 32 in. Courtesy of Private Collection

Stephen Warde Anderson (American, b. 1953). The Jinni, 1995. Tempera and gouache on shade cloth, 24 x 32 in. Courtesy of Private Collection

January 26-May 13, 2018
Opening Reception: Friday, January 26, 5:30-8:30 p.m. with an artist and curator Q&A discussion, 7 p.m.
Curated by Michael Noland and Keith Sadler


After attending University of Chicago for just a year, then serving in the United States Navy for four years, Rockford, Ill. native Stephen Warde Anderson decided he’d spend the rest of his life creating things.

His nontraditional route to uncovering his artistic talents, as well as his skills being entirely self-taught, make Anderson’s work all the more astonishing. Stephen Warde Anderson: Attention to Detail captures the pointillist techniques he employed in his earliest works. Anderson’s art is heavily concentrated in portraits of film stars, famous women and historical subjects. Intuit will be showcasing more than 30 of these paintings, two never-before-seen by the public. Attention to Detail will unite many of his original pieces, as most have been dispersed between private collections.

Anderson began his foray into the art world through charcoal and pencil drawings, and then graduated on to painting through the development of his own methods for production, such as mixing tempera with his own saliva. He also fashioned flexible stylus instruments from small cut pieces of whipped cream containers, which he used alongside sewing needles to create tiny paint dots and striations.

This exhibition focuses primarily on the naissance of Anderson’s career as an artist, during which time his portraits stand out as remarkably meticulous. Anderson’s first paintings each took well over a year for him to finish, speaking to his intense attention to detail, as reflected in the show’s title.

There will be an opening reception celebration Friday, January 26, 2018 from 5:30-8:30 p.m., and the exhibition will be on view until Sunday, May 13, 2018. 

Press coverage of this exhibition:
Stephen Warde Anderson: One-of-a-Kind Painter Has One-Man Show (WTTW Chicago Tonight)