Biography

LEE GODIE


In  1968, a French Impressionist artist appeared on the stairway of the Art Institute of Chicago.  At the entrance to the city's most esteemed art institution, Lee Godie began to sell her canvases - paintings which she compared favorably with Cezanne's.  The term "French Impressionist" was abruptly updated.   Godie's paintings concurrently captured the face of the city and the persona of its dwellers.  The John Hancock Tower became an icon for Chicago.  Birds, leaves, twigs, and insects symbolized the natural world, which Godie ingeniously inhabited in the heart of the city. Her distilled impressions and perception captivated countless artists, collectors, and casual observers - the subjects of many of her portraits.  As intentionally as she became a French Impressionist, Lee Godie became a famous artist.

Thousands of paintings later, Lee Godie the famous artist has had gallery exhibitions and museum shows.  She has become an icon in the Chicago art world.  With her art successfully, with compromise to nothing- the weather, the art world, or any social conventions.Though some have pondered the orientation of her sanity, few would question her impact as an artist in the city. Perhaps as powerful as her paintings, Godie's tenacious originality has continually reminded artists, collectors, and casual observers that life and art can be invented, and not merely emulated.Lee Godie has maintained an aura of privacy regarding the facts of her life.  When asked about her birthdate, she replied "I don't celebrate my birthday, I celebrate my status as an artist."  The chronology of her life as an artist follows:

 

1968    Lee Godie appears on the steps of The Art Institute of Chicago
1979    Godie's paintings included in Art in Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
1968-1990    The artist resides on and around the streets of Chicago, selling her paintings nearly every day 
1991   Lee Godie: Drawings and Paintings, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL 
1993   Lee Godie: French Impressionist, Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago, IL 
1993   Artist- Lee Godie, A 20 Year Retrospective, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL
1994   Lee Godie passes away