Susumu Kamijo — vinyl, pastel and poodles

Susumu Kamijo — vinyl, pastel and poodles

From April 21 to May 26, 2022, Perrotin Gallery presents in Seoul “Alone with Everyone,” an exhibition of works by artist Susumu Kamijo.

Source: Perrotin Gallery — Image: Susumu Kamijo, “Gentle Mind,” 2022. Flashe vinyl paint and pastel pencil on canvas. 160 × 132 cm | 63 × 52 in. Photo: Dan Bradica. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin — “Call me again,” 2022. Flashe vinyl paint and pastel pencil on canvas. 132 × 160 cm | 52 × 63 in. Photo: Dan Bradica. Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin.

Born in Nagano, Japan, in 1975, but a resident of Brooklyn, USA, Susumu Kamijo began painting his peculiar “poodles” in 2014, fascinated by the animal’s curved and often shifting forms. “Alone with Everyone,” Kamijo’s first exhibition at Perrotin Gallery, includes several recent paintings showing the evolution of this “personal iconography” over the past eight years.

In a press note, the gallery explains: “in a way, Kamijo’s often ‘fluffy’ and ‘brightly hued’ poodles form an inviting door to the world of his imagery. The poodles have evolved from being forms with dots and shapes that seem to float in a serene landscape to more deeply engaging even an uninitiated viewer into a meditation upon what the form of the poodle would allow for. In his recent works, the echoes of the first poodles are nevertheless present — the colors are still vibrant, the poodle’s voluminous form still ascertained, and yet the form becomes a space of teasing out the abstract poodle form into something that is sensual and stirring in its nature. Teeth gnashed in a minimal tree-lined backdrop, the poodle becomes an exercise in vigorous gesturing. The gesture on the canvas becomes as swift, as Kamijo remarks, as characters in Japanese calligraphy. On Kamijo’s canvasses, a calligraphic meaning is always in a state of becoming; the nimbly drawn figures become poodles and figures that create a field of vision that invite a roving eye until fixated upon the ever-present dot that adorns every painting. The dot, often a point that contrasts with the colors on the canvas, is a ubiquitous presence that becomes a marker of narrative — in a minimal landscape, Kamijo’s use of this dot is a compelling, almost intimate, legend in the austere field of vision.”

“While his influences are widely seen within abstract expressionism and German expressionism, Kamijo himself mentions Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, and Francis Bacon. As with these artists, Kamijo’s work bears the mark of dynamism, of what a form of the poodle can become and evoke in a viewer. It is, as Kamijo reminds us many times, nothing to do with the poodle the dog, but something that the form of the poodle can bring forth. In a conversation, Kamijo says he becomes preoccupied with three aspects: the face, the landscape of the painting, and lastly, the composition of the painting itself. As in a de Kooning painting, the proportions of the painted figures magnify and play with the frame, something that Kamijo’s figures are able to invoke by juxtaposing the landscape with brushstrokes that coalesce an errant landscape to a figure, a figure to the promise of a symbol and a narrative”. #2022 #theartwolf

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