"Soichiro Shimizu's work is unique fusion of action and meditation, nature and artifice, toughness and delicacy.
The artist draws from Japanese, American and European sensibilities to create an original vision that embraces national artistic traditions but also transcends them.
His work is the product of the study and absorption of three different painting traditions.The work resonates with references to European artists like Jean Dubuffet, Americans like Jackson Pollock, along with a complex web of references to the history of Japanese art and crafts.
One senses a deep sensitivity to nature in the work,but t is also undeniable urban, reflecting the toughness of New York.
The surface of the paintings seems like the surface of the earth, built up with layer upon layer of geological history. There is a sense of naturalness as if the paintings were made through natural processes like eruption and erosion. Yet there is also the presence of a skilled and practiced hard, expert in creating the illusion of naturalness. The colours can seem like those of rock formations and other natural phenomena, but also have a sense of artificiality, the product of chemical reactions brewed in a laboratory.
The tension created by the confrontation of opposite aesthetic forces is what gives the work its power. In his subtle way, Shimizu is an expert at stoking this aesthetic terrain by fusing opposing approaches to painting into a single work. He draws the viewer into his richly layered artistic world.
Experiencing his paintings, one is simultaneously in Paris, New York, and Tokyo, indoors and outdoors, in the past and in the present."
- Jeffrey Deitch (on the occasion of Soichiro Shimizu’s solo exhibition at Itochu Gallery Tokyo, in 1999)