Non Finito (I am not finished) features four established artists based in the Pacific Northwest: Heidi Cody, George D. Green, Julie Green, and Bill Hoppe. Invited to exhibit by Laura Russo Gallery artist Lucinda Parker, their work is startlingly distinct ranging from pop culture commentary, to virtuosic trompe l’oeil painting, to ceramics exploring personal narrative and the last meals of death row inmates, to delicate abstractions that employ complex color and spatial illusion. With this selection, Parker brings artists with well established national reputations to audiences in the northwest for whom their work is less well known.
In writing about her selection of artists, Lucinda Parker noted that “(f)or this exhibition I picked a group of excellent veteran art makers whose work is startlingly distinct: Heidi Cody, Julie Green, George D. Green, and Bill Hoppe. All of them have worked in other cities (New York City, San Francisco, Seattle) before coming to the Northwest. The location of an artist's inner tenacity is a mysterious balancing act. Artists pick and choose what to love and how to work; they manufacture their own cutting edge, sometimes in rebellion against what is fashionable. In the long run, we might all learn from Cezanne, who signed his letters “Non Finito,” or sometimes "Pictor semper virens" (ever-green painters). No real artist is ever finished.”
Each featured artist has developed his or her concepts and aesthetics thoughtfully and intentionally through the course of their careers. This exhibition presents a unique opportunity to see a diverse range of styles and subject matter presented in juxtaposition, allowing for conversations about the many contemporary, historical, and artistic threads that are informing contemporary art in the 21st century.
Heidi Cody needles consumer culture through her art. Appropriating the graphic styles of familiar products, she replaces their brand names and forces viewers to look twice, and think several times more. For more than a decade, Cody has investigated product marketing. Operating undercover, Cody funnels her in-store research into her work, and gets viewers to unwittingly assess overexposure to consumerism. Cody has shown at the Brooklyn Museum, the Moscow Biennial, Roebling Hall Gallery, Agnew’s in London, and in the travelling exhibit, Illegal Art: Freedom of Expression in the Corporate Age. She has returned to her home town of Portland after two years in Savannah, GA, and 10 years in New York.
Born in Japan, Julie Green is a professor at Oregon State University. Green spends winter months working on The Last Supper; to date, 600 final meals of U.S. inmates have been painted on ceramics. In summer, Green paints personal narratives in egg tempera on panel and on kiln-fired porcelain. Green has had twenty-eight solo exhibitions and recently received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, National Public Radio, and American Craft Magazine.
George D. Green has been painting since 1970, with exhibitions nationally and internationally. He is particularly recognized for his virtuosic trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) technique, creating remarkable illusions of depth and space, perplexing viewers’ sense of where and if the ‘painting’ stops and the frame begins. Currently his subjects of choice are ocean views, surrounded by luscious gold ‘frames’ and embellished with filigrees and decorative geometrics hovering over the seascapes. He is represented by Bernaducci Meisel Gallery in New York and has work in collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art in New York.
Bill Hoppe makes luminous abstract watercolor and oil paintings employing a sophisticated sense of color and spatial illusion. He lives in Bend, Oregon where he is an associate professor of art at Central Oregon Community College. He returned to Oregon after more than a decade working as a studio artist in New York. His work is included in more than 40 public collections including the Seattle and Portland Art Museums and the Weyerhaeuser, Microsoft and Tektronix corporate collections. He has shown at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, N.Y., and numerous galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest.