Savoy, 1978<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Paschke-Savoy.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Savoy, 1978<div class="ExternalClassCD3573AE7E6942C1B52FAA010841725D"><p>​Head and gaze averted, the androgynous figure in Ed Paschke's <em>Savoy </em>both invites and repels scrutiny as it strikes an elegant pose reminiscent of high fashion imagery. In contrast to the highlighted and detailed ear turned toward the viewer, the nose and mouth are virtually effaced. Series of jagged lines in the figure's hair and clothing and the vivid streak across the background evoke the crackle of an electrical charge and recall flickering patterns of static flashing across an analog TV screen. Saturated with hot color, Paschke's unsettling image reflects his fascination with electronic media and its effects on perception. At the time he painted <em>Savoy</em>, the artist later recalled, he was inspired by crude news footage of airplane hijackings carried out by masked terrorists. Paschke began to depict faces with features removed, as here, before he moved on to paint masked faces and masks themselves. </p><p>Paschke's title recalls the Savoy Ballroom, the name of two separate popular dance and music venues—one on Chicago's black South Side and the other in Harlem in New York City—that were nationally famous from the 1920s until the 1950s. Painted decades after both ballrooms closed, <em>Savoy </em>references a bygone era of live entertainment in which glamour was a mutual performance of display and spectatorship. Its practice died with the rise of TV, which effectively turned breaking news of events such as hijackings into home entertainment. </p><p>Part of the group of artists known as the Chicago Imagists, who emerged in the 1960s, Paschke was deeply inspired by media imagery, popular culture, and the cult of celebrity. At one time he considered becoming a filmmaker. Before earning his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on the G.I. Bill, Paschke created spot illustrations for <em>Playboy </em>magazine; made drawings for weapons manuals while on assignment in the U.S. Army; worked for a commercial display company; traveled to Mexico, Europe, and New York; and served as a psychiatric aid in an institution for the mentally ill—all experiences that informed his art. A widely acclaimed artist, Paschke was also an influential professor at Northwestern University.</p></div>GP0|#fc994ab1-0b8f-4311-91a0-89841e3c6e7d;L0|#0fc994ab1-0b8f-4311-91a0-89841e3c6e7d|Ed Paschke;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#9d68cbd3-25f3-49f0-8924-6cbe6cdb2f21;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Art;#TemporaryPainting;#Oil on linen;#Chicago, IllinoisOil on linen, 38 × 34¼ inches Private collection