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Susumu Kamijo's Exploration of Pattern, Color, and Surface Comes to Venus Over Manhattan

October 12, 2022

Susumu Kamijo, As You Wish, 2022

Susumu Kamijo, As You Wish, 2022. Acrylic, flashe vinyl paint, pastel pencil on canvas; 55 x 66 in (139.7 x 167.6 cm). Courtesy the artist and Venus Over Manhattan, New York.

By Balasz Takac

When Susumu Kamijo presented his poodle paintings for the first time in 2014, these gained immediate attention. At the time, this New York-based Japanese artist was a skillful craftsman who explored the domains of vinyl paint. Nevertheless, sudden popularity enabled him to continue perusing the narrative potentials of his work to the full extent.

Looking in retrospect, Kamijo has developed an intriguing vocabulary by combining drawing and painting techniques. The symbols and signs expressed in menacing strokes of color showcase the artist’s interest in both the formal and conceptual sides of the work.

Titled Jack & Venus, his solo exhibition will soon take over two New York venues - Venus Over Manhattan gallery and Jack Hanley Gallery.

The New Series 

In this new body of work, Susumu Kamijo has used new motifs while expanding his distinct visual vocabulary. The group of eleven vibrant paintings that will be on view at Venus, all executed in a horizontal format (another innovation in Kamijo’s approach), will illuminate the artist’s masterful brushwork. 

The new series showcases the continuity in the artist’s depiction of zoomorphic forms in dynamic arrangements. However, these are executed in a warmer color palette, featuring organic forms and innate geometry.



Inspired By Nature 

Kamijo expanded his visual vocabulary with new imagery, such as birds, vegetation, water, and celestial points. By accentuating the wingtips, tailfeathers, and bills of birds, in contrast with abstracted images of Kamijo’s signature poodles, the artist constructed new compositions saturated with natural sway and visual dynamism. 

The mix of more concentrated hues with wider canvas surfaces coated with clear gesso allowed far subtler layers to come to the fore. Gentle brushstrokes, meticulous paint drips, and gestural markings function harmoniously and create a site enjoyable for the eye.

Susumu Kamijo at Venus Over Manhattan

The new series Kamjio has produced not only showcases the artist’s profound sense for an aesthetically balanced composition but also allows us to think about how we observe other species that are often ignored and mistreated. 

Susumu Kamijo: Jack & Venus will be on view at Venus Over Manhattan's 55 Great Jones Street location in New York and Jack Hanley Gallery's location in TriBeCa from October 12th until November 11th, 2022.

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