JULIE GREEN
FOOD, FASHION AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

June 7 – July 28, 2018
First Thursday opening June 7, 6:00 to 8:00 pm (artist present)
Artist talk with Stephanie Snyder and Julie Green, Saturday, June 30 at 1:00 pm
Book launch for Picnic Brownies Make Life Easy, Saturday, June 30 at 2:00 pm

THE WORK

Julie Green’s Food, Fashion and Capital Punishment, her second exhibition at Upfor, weaves together several creative threads that have figured in the artist’s work for decades. The focal point of the exhibition is a series of paintings titled Fashion Plate that blends “high” and “low” technique and materials. As with her well-known, ongoing project The Last Supper, Green drew inspiration and patterning for the work from traditional flow blue ceramics; but the mediums are acrylic and day-glow paint on gessoed Chinet-brand paper plates. Each plate is marked with painstaking fingerprint facsimiles as backstamps.

Early work from the series debuted in the Hallie Ford Fellows Exhibition at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2017. Since then, Green has produced over 40 additional works. Fashion Plate offers a counterpoint to The Last Supper (which now comprises over 700 plates) while sharing themes and formal elements. Since 2000, Green has spent half of each year painting the final meals of executed prisoners on found ceramic plates, a project that necessarily focuses on male experience. Interested in creating work from a more personal context, Green began Fashion Plate to explore overlapping themes of domesticity, decoration, food and social justice from a consciously female perspective, expanding personal narratives into a wider view of women’s experience. 

About the new works, Green has written:

 

Because of The Last Supper, my ongoing project about capital punishment, I have a long history of painting plates. In this series, fashion-related societal and personal narratives are embedded in the borders of Chinet paper plates. Fashion plates in 17th century Europe showed style and fabric options to potential buyers: prints of women with velvet and silk collaged within dress lines. The patterns here are inspired by my collection of flow-blue china. At first I painted only in blue, but eventually I crossed the color wheel. Gossip Bridle, painted in orange, began Fashion Plate’s super-charged palette.

 

Three components of each plate have, in my mind, equal significance: the surface image, the glow-in-the-dark image, and the fingerprint backstamp. I have an idée fixe about fingerprints, how we all carry these unique and ever-present resources to print or be forced to print. Searching online for “fingerprints of women” showed all men. In response, I put out a call for women’s fingerprints, submitted anonymously. These I reproduced as backstamps, which are the maker’s mark traditionally used on the back of ceramics. Like women’s stories woven into the border, the fingerprints are an attempt toward parity.

THE ARTIST

Julie Green (b. 1961 in Yokosuka, Japan) wanted to be a stewardess until age four, but became a painter instead. Green's recent accolades include a Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts from The Ford Family Foundation (2017), Career Opportunity Grant (2017) and Fellowship (2016) from the Oregon Arts Commission, the 2015 ArtPrize 3-D Juried Award (2015) and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2011). She has exhibited widely in the US and internationally, featured in publications such as The New York Times, a Whole Foods mini-documentary, National Public Radio, Ceramics MonthlyGastronomica, and the 7th edition of A World of Art published by Prentice Hall. Half of each year, usually in winter months, she works on The Last Supper, an ongoing project about capital punishment in the United States. Green lives in the Willamette Valley and is a professor at Oregon State University.