For a time, Susumu Kamijo was the poodle painter. It wasn't so much about a poodle so much as it was the shapes and the composition that a poodle represents. A sort of manicuring of chaos, of something animal. It was always beautifully rendered and colored, abstracted to a point but most defiinitely a dog. Now, in his new solo show, The Motherland, on view at Venus Over Manhattan, Kamijo is still focusing on animals, canines, birds, a lamb, but with a new focus on color and shapes, patterns and what the viewer can perceive as both a figure and an abstraction. 

There is also a bit more connection between the figures, almost harnessed together or fused in their shape. This feels like Kamijo's most fun, most electric show. The gallery notes, "All Kamijo’s scenes are set against strips of color indicating a legible horizon, each dotted with a hovering circular sun. Sometimes there is a gentle mountain range, body of water, spate of trees, or swath of land echoing the horizon line." This is something I find exciting here; there is legibility as Kamijo goes even further into a universe of his own making. Maybe we are more comfortable than ever to go there with him... —Evan Pricco