Jack Hanley Gallery is pleased to present Jack & Venus, an exhibition of new works by New York-based artist Susumu Kamijo.
Jack & Venus spans across two galleries and will open concurrently at Venus Over Manhattan’s 55 Great Jones Street space. In this exhibition, Kamijo will show a new series of his signature poodle paintings. These bold and dynamic figures have developed further into abstraction which allows for the artist’s exploration of shape, color, and technique to stand out.
In this body of work, Kamijo is focused on three main aspects: the poodle’s face, the landscape, and the overall composition of these elements. While the poodle is the constant subject of the paintings, the artist has made it clear that it is not the poodle itself that he is concerned with but rather the unexpected forms that it can take on. These new works are cropped into a sort of portraiture- the viewer sees lips, teeth, and eyes gazing back at them serenely, joyfully, or fiercely. As the face is emphasized, the viewer is able to take in the shapes, colors, and lines, all coming together to represent the subject. Kamijo’s dynamic abstractions are further complemented by the soft, rounded foliage of the landscapes they are settled in, as well as the small circles in the upper left or right corner, resembling the sun or the moon depending on their color.
The artist’s expressive technique is evident throughout this series. Visible brushstrokes and paint drips are balanced by bold lines and shapes. The repetition of imagery combined with the distinct evolution of style and technique result in paintings that are at once familiar and entirely new.
Susumu Kamijo (b. 1975, Nagano, Japan) holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing at the University of Oregon in 2000, followed by an MFA in Painting and Drawing at the University of Washington in 2002. Kamijo’s paintings and drawings take an abstract approach to familiar subjects such as animals and human faces, playing with forms and colors with a concise handling of media. Since 2014, he has been working on a series of colorful drawings depicting poodles and more recently has expanded his exploration of the subject onto canvas. Kamijo has had solo exhibitions at Stems, Brussels (BE), GNYP, Berlin (DE), Harper’s Books, New York (NY), Marvin Gardens, Queens (NY) and Masahiro Maki Gallery, Tokyo (JP). He currently lives and works in Brooklyn in the company of one Poodle and one Wire Fox Terrier, which visibly informs Kamijo’s work.