Born in Toyama Prefecture, Japan in 1953, Noriko Shinohara moved to New York City in 1972 to study at the Art Students League. After six months in the city, she met Ushio Shinohara, who is twenty one years her senior, and gave birth to their son Alex one year later. Financial and emotional strain paused Noriko’s career. By the time Alex was two years old, Noriko returned to her art. Noriko’s work brings together boldness of color, line, and persistent humor. Instilling her work with irony and poignancy, her contemporary Japanese etchings and paintings draw inspiration from a variety of art styles across time and culture. In 1981, Noriko exhibited her work at Whitney Counterweight, an artist-initiated group exhibition, followed by her first solo exhibition, held at the Cat Club in 1986. In 1994, she turned her tumultuous experiences in New York City into the basis of her novella New York of Sigh, which was accompanied by a solo exhibition in Tokyo. The following year, Noriko spent time in Japan studying etching at Kyoto City Art University and Tokyo National Art University.
Noriko Shinohara is best known for her Cutie series, a semi-autobiographical story of her relationship with Ushio. The character of Cutie emerged in 2003, recognizable by her long braids and rounded, perpetually nude form. In Noriko’s words, “when I started Cutie I felt I am truly, from bone to skin, head to toe, an artist.” The story spans medium and scale, from intimate artist books to 20-meter-long mural paintings. In 2003 and 2005, Noriko’s work appeared in the IPCNY New Prints exhibition. In 2007, she was included in the Japan Society Gallery’s Making a Home: Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York, a group exhibition with Ushio, Yoko Ono, Yayoi Kusama, and others. Ronin Gallery is proud to present a collection of Noriko Shinohara's paintings and etchings for sale here today.