Matthew Lutz-Kinoy’s pink pom-pom utopia

Matthew Lutz-Kinoy’s pink pom-pom utopia

American artist Matthew Lutz-Kinoy transforms Museum Frieder Burda’s Salon Berlin into a strange new world, marking his first solo institutional show in Germany

At Museum Frieder Burda’s Salon Berlin, visitors can expect to be consumed by a cloud of pink: strings of rhythmic pink pom-poms dangle from the ceiling; soft pink carpet cushions underfoot. Here, Paris-based American artist Matthew Lutz-Kinoy is exercising his fascination with immersive spiritual transitions and offering viewers a portal to an alternative reality, even for just a moment. 

When it comes to media, the artist’s allegiance is far from set in stone. But at the heart of a practice that spans sculpture, printmaking, ceramics and painting is performance. In his exhibition, ‘Window to The Clouds’, the wool pom-poms, which frame new paintings and ceramic works, are both filters through which to view, and interactive installations in their own right. 

Installation view: Matthew Lutz-Kinoy. ’Window to the Clouds’; Salon Berlin, Museum Frieder Burda Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, An opening of the field, 2020; The Ray, 2019. Courtesy of the artist; Photography: Thomas Bruns

Lutz-Kinoy’s paintings are embedded with all the carnal potency of 18th-century traditions: liberal application paint, vigorous bodily forms, gestural brushstrokes and ethereal translucent layering which explores depth, both in concept and physicality. These works are dense with references to divine and spiritual symbolism: there are cherubs, angels, and nods to Auguste Rodin’s La Porte de l’Enfer (1880-1917), itself inspired by Dante’s monumental narrative poem, Inferno

Among his many influences, Lutz-Kinoy draws on the work of performance theorist José Esteban Muñoz, specifically, his book Cruising Utopia (2009), in which he writes, ‘Futurity can be a problem,’ arguing for the existence of many potential futures within the present. In ‘Window to The Clouds’, Lutz-Kinoy fuses the vocabulary of representation and performance to illustrate that time, though quantifiable, is not linear. §

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