Exhibitions
Tom Palazzolo's Gritty City

Tom Palazzolo's Gritty City

Date: 1/11/2016 - 3/6/2016

Tom Palazzolo: Gritty City is an exhibition of renowned multi-media artist Tom Palazzolo. His humorous and Surreal work has been the subject of a solo exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago and screened at festivals around the world.

Palazzolo’s portrait photography and cinéma vérité documentaries on view in Gritty City span over fifty years of his career. His arresting portraits and dramatic tableaus of parades, festivals, fair grounds and open-air markets present the people and places of Chicago like you’ve never seen them before. They feature Chicagoan’s of every age, background and station in life alongside lost historic Chicago landmarks such as Riverview Amusement Park and Maxwell Street Market.

EPAC will also be the inaugural venue to screen Palazzolo’s in-progress filmic documentary on Outsider Art’s grande dame Lee Godie. 

Gritty City is a raw, original look at Chicago, revealing Palazzolo’s dedication over a lifetime to, as he himself puts it, “truth, not beauty.”


Tom Palazzolo (b. 1937, St. Louis, MO) is a multi-media artist who makes films, photographs and paintings. He moved to Chicago from St. Louis in 1960 to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he received his Masters in 1965. An informal mentor to generations of artists, Palazzolo is also professor emeritus at Columbia College and Daley City College. He has received grants from the The American Film Institute, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation, and the Illinois Arts Council. His films have screened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Gene Siskel Film Center, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Lincoln Center, and the Walker Art Center among others. Palazzolo has participated in both national and international film festivals, and his work is represented in the film collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.


Image credit: Tom Palazzolo, Tattooed Lady, Riverview Amusement Park, 1967.