Girls of Summer

8 - 30 July 2005

Girls of Summer is a group show focused on the image of “girls” from the quintessential bikini-clad adolescent/model, dreamy nymphs, to butterfly-winged Harajuku girls. Featuring the work of the young Japanese artist Koichi Enomotorecently seen at LISTE 05 in Basel with Hiromi Yoshii Gallery Tokyo; the LA based self-taught Ruby Osorio currently having her first solo museum show at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; and Chicago’s own master magazine manipulator John Sparagana fresh off his recent solo show at Mixture Gallery in Houston.


Koichi Enomoto (b. 1977 Osaka Japan, lives Tokyo) “It is that ‘wave-like’ feeling within my body I have sought to express. Trees already seem to embody their own life-energy waves in their form (physique). The butterfly-girls in my pictures are mirror entities upon which those waves are projected. Provocative, bold and even cruel at times, their encounters and conflicts with trees, flowers, and ordinary girls gives birth to a story.” Enomoto created all new work for “Girls of Summer” including his intricately delicate watercolor and pen drawings and some wildly sinister yet sexy paintings.


Koichi Enomoto graduated from Japan’s Kanazawa College of Art in 2002 and made his debut exhibition at Hiromi Yoshii Gallery Tokyo in 2004 at the group exhibition “After the Reality” curated by Kentaro Ichihara. A solo show at Yoshii soon followed and his work has since been in group exhibitions in New York, Paris, and Turin. Enomoto’s Chicago debut was at the Stray Show 2004 and his work was just featured in Yoshii’s booth at LISTE 05: The Young Art Fair in Basel. Upcoming will be a 2 person exhibition at Deitch Projects NY.


Ruby Osorio (lives Los Angeles) “Several years into teaching elementary school, Ruby Osorio found this rather pragmatic chapter in her life so illuminating that she spontaneously began drawing adolescent girls, enabling her to process the complex dramas awaiting her innocent students” – Excerpt from CAM catalogue essay by Sue Spaid


Ruby Osorio’s inclusion in Girls of Summer overlaps with her first solo museum exhibition Story of a Girl (Who Awakes Far, Far and Away) continuing through July 17 at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. CAM curator Shannon Fitzgerald describes the exhibition as “an enchanting magical environment based on her unique drawings and works on paper. This series of gouache paintings incorporates thread and ink and presents this young artist’s exploration into female identity and more tellingly, the construction of that identity through what is becoming a hallmark of her hand–whimsy with a punch. In this new series of painterly drawings Osorio pushes the range of her work in scale, medium, and content; thus transforming the gallery into a delicate room that presents a “feminine aesthetic” through the use of cartoon-like drawings of women, girls, animals, objects, and natural landscapes (some directly on the wall) that grow from tiny thumbnail sketches to large mural-sized narratives.” New works on paper will be included in this show.


Ruby Osorio received her B.A. in Sociology and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1997. John Sparagana (b. 1958 New York, lives Chicago) Girls of Summer will feature new work from the series “Sleeping Beauty” (2004-05) made from distressing, through excessive handling, single and double-spread magazine pages. The images, almost entirely from fashion magazines, have extremely high production value, arriving as a pristine, glowing object in the mail or on the news stand, yet meant to disappear in a month or two, to become trash and disappear from consciousness. By nearly destroying the pages, though quite beautiful in their distressed state, they become singular, iconic, elegiac image-objects attaining a paradoxical value. They refer in metaphorical terms to the culture that produced them, but take the original narrative for a ride. The work achieves a curious condition; photo based, two dimensional, image driven, and never-the-less becomes by definition a found object.


John Sparagana received his M.F.A. from Stanford University in 1987, and has been on the faculty at Rice University since 1989.