Byron Roche Gallery is proving itself a mainstay in the River North scene. Roche founded the gallery in 1994, after working for a large Chicago gallery for nearly a decade. The gallery exhibits contemporary art in all media, but its primary focus reflects Roche's fascination with the multiple materials and processes used in contemporary painting. New York artist Margaret Evangeline is one example of an artist pushing the boundaries of her medium: Her heavy aluminum panels are often distressed with metal grinders to create an illusion of extraordinary depth; then Evangeline applies unusual pigments such as anti-radar paint to produce haunting abstract images.
Other artists represented by Roche include New York artist Paul Hunter, who uses the demanding medium of gold leaf as the basis for his paintings, and Chicago-based artists Lisa Erf and Jiwon Son, who each use repetition in vastly different ways to challenge the viewer to contemplate the purpose of painting. Roche represents primarily mid-career and established artists, and has a reputation for exhibiting work with an unusual degree of technical proficiency. He believes that education is an important mission of the gallery, and enjoys spending time with beginning as well as experienced collectors, discussing the artistic process as well as the steps involved in art collecting and appreciation.