When the Escher family lived in the Swiss town Château-d’Oex, Escher befriended the painter John Paschoud. On the 6th of January 1937, they opened a collective exposition of their work in the latter’s studio. In the exposition, Escher showed thirty-eight of his woodcuts and lithographs.
For the exhibition, Escher made a poster, an invitation, and an announcement card. He used the painter’s brushes and palette and the printmaker’s woodblock and ink roller as visual elements, supplemented by unique typography. During the exhibition, he also demonstrated how to make a woodcut, as can be read in his diary. The exhibition was well received and Escher sold seven woodcuts to collectors, for 150 guilders in total. Quite a sum for those days*. In his diary, his father noted that ‘he had not earned so much for a long time’.
John Paschoud (1901-1998) started to exhibit regularly from the 1940s onwards in his studio and in various art galleries and museums in Switzerland, Paris, Varese, and Brussels. Nevertheless, he was very much a man of his surroundings. Reserved and devoted to nature, as if to please the farmers around him, he painted cows, donkeys or goats in unexpected situations. Paschoud never received wide acclaim, but in Château-d’Oex he is a famous man. In 1981, a retrospective exhibition was organised to mark his 80th birthday. A publication named Les Amis de John Paschoud followed. This made him better known but it did not mark the end of his artistic activity; several other exhibitions followed. Paschoud painted portraits and landscapes but will be remembered mostly for the works that stem from his imagination.
[*] Wim Hazeu, M.C. Escher, Een biografie (A biography), Meulenhoff, 1998, page 202