Jenkins Johnson Gallery is pleased to announce Summertime…, on exhibit in New York and San Francisco June 17 through September
3, 2010. Summertime… highlights a variety of artistic representations in a grouping of paintings, photographs, LEDs, sculptures and mixed
media works. The selected artists push the boundaries of their genre and reveal beauty around us in the context of summer. They continue
to enrapture and challenge the eye with a mix of modern and more traditional methods. Participating artists are listed below.
Transforming the familiar world in a different way, British artist Julian Opie’s Walk, 2009, is a small-scale limited edition computer
animation on LED display. The animation features the ambulatory motion of a woman’s skirted legs from mid thigh to mid calf. The 5 x 10
inch light-emitting diode (LED) display panel is hard programmed with the famed British artist’s signature thick-outlined animation in red
LED lights. Opie has said he sees his work functioning like objects in an IKEA catalog, and his use of the contemporary signage medium of
LED adds to his graphic iconic depiction. The animation loop as well as the repetitive nature of walking emphasizes the constant cycling
motion of modern life, a recurring focus of Opie’s work.
Ben Aronson, who was recently featured in a three person show at the Naples Museum of Art in Florida, is a nationally renowned realist
painter most often associated with the styles of the Bay Area Figurative painters. Aronson embraces the unique light cast in each city with a
dexterous hand, as seen through his painting Sunlit Buildings, Receding Fog and its treatment of San Francisco’s distinctive light. As
discussed in the June ARTnews review of the Naples Museum exhibition, Aronson “contrasts blurry, impressionistic foregrounds with near-
Photorealistic distant views.” Similar to Aronson’s cityscapes are Sonya Sklaroff’s paintings of New York City, as both artists accurately
focus on natural lighting. Sklaroff’s painting Architect’s View captures the glowing light of a late summer sunset, depicting the luminosity of
otherwise completely unreflective surfaces, seen in her depictions of the wood of a water tower or the stucco of a warehouse; Aronson
captures the cool California light while Sklaroff embraces the warm Atlantic sunsets.
In strong contrast to Aronson’s familiar cityscapes, Japanese American Hiroshi Watanabe’s photographs from his most recent series,
“Love Point,” depict portraits of both idealized Japanese sex dolls and Japanese models dressed to mimic these dolls. While the style of
the composition is reminiscent of Watanabe’s earlier studio series such as “Suo Sarumawashi” (Monkey Portraits) or “Kabuki Players,”
Watanabe engages a subject matter of a more disturbing note, while blurring the boundaries of fiction and reality, existence and
idealization. In his previous studio portfolios, Watanabe explored the art of duplication, of becoming someone else through garb or makeup,
in “Love Point,” Watanabe takes this examination to a more critical level, questioning levels of fact, fiction, and fantasy found in society.
While “Love Point” is perhaps more probing than earlier works, it still retains Watanabe’s uncritical, unbiased eye; we are not confronted by
the “women” in his photographs, we are left to observe them and to form our own opinions, a characteristic lauded about in his portraits that
have become synonymous with his work.
Summertime... will feature the works of: Nicolas Africano, Ben Aronson, Katherine Chang Liu, Michael Eastman, Scott Fraser, Julia
Fullerton-Batten, Wes Hempel, Courtney Johnson, Rene Lynch, John Nava, Julian Opie, Yigal Ozeri, Scott Prior, Kay Ruane, Sonya
Sklaroff, Skip Steinworth, Francesca Sundsten, Nancy Switzer, Hiroshi Watanabe, and Sherrie Wolf. Not all artists will participate at both
locations. Please contact the gallery for more information.