CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Review: Ed Paschke exhibition at the Ashmolean

PUBLISHED: 15:15 12 February 2015 | UPDATED: 15:15 12 February 2015

Ed Paschke's art ('Mannish' Boy & part of 'Two Screaming Ladies')

Ed Paschke's art ('Mannish' Boy & part of 'Two Screaming Ladies')


Sandra Smith visited the exhibition of Ed Paschke’s bold and confrontational work at the Ashmolean in Oxford

Bold and confrontational with a textural quality that enhances a density of images as challenging as they are vibrant, Ed Paschke’s work has the capacity to inform and shock.

That such a shy, introverted child should have spent his adult life producing such monumental canvasses is due partly to his father’s creativity. Crafting caricatures was a common family pastime and, as Paschke Senior invented clay models and performances, so his son absorbed a magical, fictional world. Comic strips became a preoccupation and a genre the young artist explored during his teenage years.

Although Paschke’s career did not take off until the late Seventies, a strong element of Sixties Pop Art infiltrates his paintings. That he is sometimes compared with Warhol is understandable. Both artists, after all, favoured individuals and cultural icons. Yet those paintings produced by the Chicago artist convey a considerably more corporeal quality. Warm tones exude earthy energy and it is this ability to breathe life into his subjects that makes them more accessible.

Some of his more provocative paintings are included here: Wanda, Hilda and Two Screaming Ladies, each physically stimulating, if not rebellious, and simultaneously projecting an element of voyeurism, confirming Paschke’s appreciation of life and fusion of eccentric fascinations.

Committed to his home city throughout his career, one of Paschke’s proudest moments came in 1989 when the Art Institute of Chicago staged a retrospective. But it is only now, over 10 years since his death, that his work is available for viewing in the UK for the first time. This exhibition may be a small tribute but the two dozen paintings featured represent some of Paschke’s most memorable works and the Ashmolean is to be applauded for showcasing such a complex portfolio.


Ed Paschke: Visionary from Chicago, 1968–2004 runs until July 5 at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Beaumont Street, Oxford: 01865 278002;

For more from Sandra, visit:


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

Mon, 13:15

Tracy Spiers takes an impressive, if hypothetical, budget on a shopping spree in Cheltenham’s independent stores

Read more
Mon, 12:23

Get out and enjoy seasonal celebrations with a Cotswold twist

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Hundreds of participating National Lottery-funded visitor attractions across the UK are saying ‘thanks’ to people who have raised money for good causes by buying a lottery ticket, including a number of venues in the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, December 3, 2018

“We’re looking forward to lots of festive fun this Christmas festival and hope to welcome lots of people to our town.”

Read more
Monday, November 26, 2018

“Faringdon upholds old-fashioned values through its traditional shops, personal service and shop owners who go the extra mile to make their customers feel at home.”

Read more
Friday, November 23, 2018

Home to some of the country’s most breathtaking architecture and picturesque gardens, the Cotswolds boasts plenty of beautiful stately homes you need to visit. We pick eight special locations that are made even more magical during Christmas time

Read more
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Taking the classroom outdoors is fun, inspires fresh ideas, broadens horizons – and encourages a new generation to enjoy and care for the Cotswolds

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Chipping Campden – once the meeting place for a council of Saxon kings – now offers the warmest of welcomes to all its visitors, from the humble shopper to the seasonal shin-kicker

Read more
Thursday, November 15, 2018

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search