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Ed Paschke

 (1939 - 2004)
Ed (Edward Francis) Paschke was active/lived in Illinois.  Ed Paschke is known for modernist portrait and figure, illustrator.

Ed Paschke

Biography from the Archives of askART

Born in 1939 in a small house in a quiet suburb of Chicago, Ed Paschke became well known in Chicago.  As a child his interest in drawing led him to a degree program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  While commuting by train, he practiced his craft of drawing in a realistic manner.  However, in school he learned to paint expressionistically, that is expressing an emotional response or seizing the moment, which was a different interpretation from the way one's eye perceives it.  Studying at a museum with a large collection gave him ample opportunity to view masterpieces and major exhibitions of important artists such as Picasso, Seurat and Gauguin whose influence affected his work.

After graduation, Paschke worked as an illustrator, and successfully sold his work to Playboy magazine.  While working as a commercial artist by day, he found that his nights were obsessed by people who were 'disenfranchised'.  He wandered the streets of ethnic neighborhoods observing the seamier side of life.  Transvestites, hookers, strippers, drunks and tattoo parlors became his metier.

Also many of his early paintings focused on movie stars, wrestler and circus figures, "their appearances exaggerated by illustrational precision, strange textures and in harmonious colors.  He painted Marilyn Monroe as a green-faced accordion player and Claudette Colbert as a tattooed lady."

He worked for a while in a factory that employed only Latinos, and later took a job in a psychiatric unit to satisfy his interest in abnormal behavior.  "Outsiders and freaks" you might call this course of study.  But consider how his minds' storehouse of visual images had grown.  He was awarded the travel fellowship from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, enabling him to visit Europe and Mexico, further enriching his lexicon of visual aberrations.

Paschke was drafted into the Army in 1962, and during his two years of service, illustrated weapons manuals and pursued AWOL soldiers in the South.  When he returned to Chicago, he worked briefly for a display company, and then returned to the Art Institute on his G.I. Bill.  He received his M.F.A. and married a fellow student.  With a Master's Degree, he could teach, earn a living, and most important, continue painting.

While still in school, he had exhibited with the "Chicago Imagists" and the "Hairy Who," two groups that were responding to the growing POP ARTISTS popularized in New York.  Paschke worked in various media portraying inhabitants of fringes of society.  Andy Warhol's series of "Marilyn Monroe" and Marshall McLuhan's "The Medium Is The Message" were sparks in Paschke's imagination that led to even more outrageous portrayals.  With "tattoos and fantastical costumes, Paschke began to concentrate on elaborately costumed figures against richly patterned background" (Thomas and Hudson).  He worked with an overhead projector combining many diverse elements into one wildly luminous composition.  "Spectral bands of color cut through both figure and background."  Masked people emerged with black holes for eyes.  Disturbing images provoked audiences, enlivened critics, and his fame grew.

He has had one-man shows from Chicago to Paris and retrospectives in major museums.  Still teaching, he was Chairman of the Arts and Theory Department at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois since 1977.  He also continued actively painting, and in the last fifteen years of his life created portraits of well-known figures including George Washington, Adolf Hitler, Elvis Presley and Osama Bin Laden.

Paschke died on November 25, 2004 in Chicago.

Robert Smith, The New York Times obituary, December 1, 2004, "Ed Paschke, Painter, 65, Dies".

Biography from the Archives of askART
Ed Paschke was born in 1939 in a quiet suburb of Chicago.  As a child his interest in drawing led him to a degree program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  While commuting by train, he would practice drawing in a realistic manner but in school he learned to paint in a expressionistic mode. After graduation he worked as an illustrator and successfully sold his work to "Playboy" magazine.  He wandered the streets of ethnic neighborhoods at night, observing transvestites, hookers, strippers, drunks and tattoo parlors.  He won a travel fellowship, enabling him to visit Europe and Mexico.

Paschke was drafted into the Army in 1962; his duty consisted of illustrating weapons manuals. He returned to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on the GI bill, got his Master of Fine Arts degree and married a fellow student. His fame has grown as he exhibited widely while continuing to teach.  He became Chairman of the Arts and Theory Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1977.

A critic described his work as repulsively actual, "made to engage and stun his viewers, not to edify them. Paschke's art is cold as a fish and twice as slimy."

From the Internet,
Robert Hughes in Time magazine, June 12, 1972

Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Biography from Acquisitions of Fine Art
Ed Paschke Biography

1939 Born in Chicago, IL
2004 Died in his sleep on Thursday, Nov. 25, 2004

BFA, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
MFA , The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Selected Exhibitions
1999 Ed Paschke: New Works, Maya Polsky Gallery Chicago, IL
1999 The American Century, Whitney Museum of America Art & Vaknin Schwartz New York & Atlanta
1998 Ed Paschke, Galerie Darthea Speyer Paris, France
1998 Ed Paschke Prints, Anchor Graphics Chicago, IL
1997 - 1998 Nurturing Visions, New York, Montana, Illinois
1997 Ed Paschke, Maya Polsky Gallery Chicago, IL
1997 INSA Gallery Seoul, Korea
1997 Gallery Ciocca Milan, Italy
1997 Parallel Visions, Museum of Art & Archeology University of Missouri, MO
1996 Phyllis Kind Gallery New York
1995 Selections from Permanent Collection, Whitney Museum New York, NY
1994 - 1995 Chicago Imagism, Davenport Museum, Davenport, IA
1989 - 199 Ed Paschke Retrospective, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, France
1989 - 1990 Ed Paschke Retrospective, The Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL

Selected Public Collections
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Weatherspoon Art Center, Greensboro, NC
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Musee d'Art Moderne Nationale, Paris, France
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Along with Jim Nutt, Peter Saul and to some extent Ed Ruscha, Ed Paschke was an artist whose contribution to the art of his time was somewhat obscured by his distance from New York. As with Paul Klee's assimilation of Cubism, his version of Pop Art proved that an art movement's ideas need not weaken as they spread outward.

Like Mr. Nutt, Mr. Paschke was associated with the Chicago Imagists, a group of artists whose intensely mannered figurative styles borrowed from popular culture, outsider art and Surrealism. But Mr. Paschke was alone among them in basing his images on photographs culled from television, newspaper and magazines. One of the first artists to paint using an opaque projector, he was crucially influenced by the photo-based paintings of Andy Warhol, whom he considered the most important of all postwar artists. This admiration had an indelible effect on his best-known student, Jeff Koons.

Biography from Sam Heller Fine Art, Inc.
American painter and printmaker, Ed Paschke was a leading representative of the Chicago Imagist school that emerged in the mid-1960s, having studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he later taught.

He exhibited widely, including shows at the Whitney Museum in New York City and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Paschke's vigorous studies added a controversial footnote to the Pop art movement.  He drew his subjects from the fringes of society.  Hallucinogenic colors capture exotic aspects of Chicago's night life. -

The Grove Dictionary

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About  Ed Paschke

Born:  1939 - Chicago, Illinois
Died:   2004 - Chicago, Illinois
Known for:  modernist portrait and figure, illustrator