by Shraddha NairOct 01, 2020
Museum Frieder Burda presents Window to the Clouds, an exhibition featuring the works of artist Matthew Lutz-Lutz-Kinoy at Salon Berlin, the museum’s exhibition and project space in the city of Berlin.
Window to the Clouds is a solo presentation of the work which came out of the isolation period Lutz-Kinoy experienced during lockdown after the coronavirus outbreak. The exhibition presents a series of paintings as well as installations, curated to play out as a landscape of its own. In an exclusive interview with STIR, Lutz-Kinoy discusses his recent work against the backdrop of the pandemic. “I don’t know what else this show could have been except being a response to the pandemic. The stress, anxiety and deeply upsetting situations that COVID-19 has presented to us are turned into a soft pink environment and I suppose there are the lingering effects of many visits to the Dream House in New York City. There is a blue painting that is a view into Lombardy in Italy, and an interpretation of Greta Thunberg on her visit to the United Nations. I turned to what was in front of me and tried to represent that. I think that an interest in theatrical organised space as seen through historicised sculpture and printed news, as related to royal or governmental garden architectures, all played a role in interpreting communal trauma,” he says.
Lutz-Kinoy is an artist whose work traverses the length and breadth of various materials and media, without particular commitment to one. This becomes apparent in the artist’s exploration of object and space, especially in his consideration of the viewer. In a playful approach to this exhibition, the artist creates a spatial intervention in the form of hanging pom-poms like a veil in front of paintings. This creates another layer of interaction between painting and viewer, Lutz-Kinoy says, “The pompom installation is an element that speaks to all the textures, colours and materials present in the show addressing systems of affect and our relationship to design histories derived from systems of collecting and display. One of my continued references is the painting A Lady on Her Day Bed by François Boucher. In the back of the painting is a small shelf with a few ceramic objects on it. When you enter the FB Salon Berlin, you stand in this long corridor, the work forces a tunnel vision down the corridor of the gallery. This directive perspective of the artwork highlights the viewer at the centre of the image, and privileges an individual's view, which seems to speak to a lot of the general audience”.
In the video below, Lutz-Kinoy mentions his belief in “what art can be”. When I asked him more about his beliefs, hopes and dreams for the potential of art, he opened up, saying, “Artists! They can make things happen, change people’s minds and people should never underestimate that. I think about artists like the photographer Latoya Ruby Frazier, the music producer SOPHIE, the painter Chelsea Culp, the dancers Fluct, the sculptor Nairy Baghramian, the performer Sharon Hayes. All of these artists expose striking alternative views of the world that can complicate and elaborate on the way we see the events that are taking place around us. These artists are some of many who are able to create the space, stages, platforms that can break open the facade of the world around us, through their representations, readings or interpretations. The world needs these windows into alternatives in which to see the realities and to expand possibilities in ways of being”.
Lutz-Kinoy’s practice as an artist is influenced by his years spent working in the space of theatre and choreography. The artist shares, “I have been interested in the fabulous scenes and sculptures for the great Medici weddings of the 1500s. These large-scale weddings created lasting sculptures and large architectures like triumphal arches at the Porta al Prato in Florence, which were made so that a blushing bride could walk through them. These architectures, ornate with columns, pilasters, architraves, great cornices, and pediments connect with the theatrical events staged throughout the wedding festivities. The phenomenon of the theatrum mundi was spun out of these productions and seems like an interesting way to think through current events, as a wide spread framing device, through which we see the city. The theatrum mundi is when entire cities were being transformed into stage sets for the performances of great court weddings. These performances of decorative dominance ring so true to a contemporary bombardment of political media over the past two years and sound in harmony with covid curfews, attestations, checkpoints, and governmental economic-LARPing”.
Lutz-Kinoy’s exhibition reads as a translation of these notions and concepts held by the artist. The way the space is curated (in particular the pom-pom installation and ceiling mounted artworks) points to a choreographed directive with which the viewer experiences the artworks. This pushes the viewer to explore and immerse themselves in the space with fresh perspectives, both literally and metaphorically.
Window to the Clouds is on view at Salon Berlin until June 5, 2021.