Franklin Parrasch Gallery is pleased to present a series of four large scale paintings entitled Stages by the late Chicago based artist Ed Paschke.

Ed Paschke’s art is consumed with symbols of the bizarre. His imagery is rife with religious and cultural motifs that push the boundaries of the socially acceptable and the sets of aesthetic values that are formulated outside those boundaries. The culmination of Paschke’s work is a translation of outward appearances into representations of subconscious thought.

Using electronic and photographic source material, Paschke has been described as an “urban realist.” He explores the manner in which reality is transformed, stylized, perceived and accepted. Elements of fashion and design assimilate into semblances of poetic expression.

Each of the four works from 1991 that comprise the Stage series is infused with a monochromatic glow (blue, brown, orange, and green respectively) representing a process by which an individual color and its light define a stage of cognition and understanding within the same composite face. Tattoo-like markings upon the forehead, chin and cheeks of a poly-racial male face map a history of spiritual and ideological development. Individually these symbols and icons represent potentially divisive cultural and religious implications, but collectively they suggest evolving stages of cultural and spiritual awareness. Outlined sensory features (nose, mouth, eyes, ears) delineate perceived cues of genealogical distinctions challenging the viewer’s preconceptions of ethnicity.

Paschke was renowned in his native Chicago both as an instructor and an artist throughout his 40-year career. He left a vast legacy that has continued since his death in 2004. Inclusion of Paschke’s works in exhibitions such as theĀ Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night and the Hirschhorn Museum’s Ways of Seeing: John Baldessari Explores the Collection have begun to revitalize awareness of this artist’s vast contributions.

“I always wanted to be an interpreter of my time,” Paschke noted in 1990. “One’s work is always autobiographical reflecting your life at the time you did it. I always felt I was like a filtration system processing materials floating around me, attempting to select, emphasize and editorialize. Life is the raw material. I try to make something out of it.”

For images, biography and further information on this exhibition please contact the gallery at (212) 246-5360, or