Matthew Lutz-Kinoy Freedman Fitzpatrick / Los Angeles

May 20, 2014

Two steps into the gallery and you are immediately inside an enormous, jointed painting on raw canvas, with a video streaming colors onto the painting, transmuting the backdrop’s womblike CMYK. Executed by Lutz-Kinoy in gallerist Robbie Fitzpatrick’s Silverlake backyard — bringing to mind an LA-nouveau rendition of Peggy Guggenheim’s famous commission of Mural by Jackson Pollock — the painting covers three of the gallery walls floor to ceiling, and is stretched over two-by-fours with visible yet unobtrusive staples.

Using large stencils of figures, and a deft eye for composition and color, Lutz-Kinoy’s painting take from Matisse and the soaked canvases of Helen Frankenthaler. Its sprayed acrylic color and expressionistic line are lovely, but there is a yearning to see the painting alone under proper lights — even with the tacit understanding that the painting is meant to act as a scrim for the video, Port, which projects onto the painting’s terminal wall on a seven-minute loop.

The video hurtles down an urban highway, then a man’s torso appears in close-up. He is in a robe. The same figure, then at a distance, waggles an extremely long pole (several times the man’s height) in the air and, alternately, gesticulates and performs scattered dance movements. Waves break on the beach at sunset. Blow-by-blow, what’s happening in the video is rather unclear, and, unfortunately, research didn’t produce any answers, nor did the press release. Written in poetic gobbledygook, it seemed to mostly be about airplane travel.

This is an exhibition that rewards dawdling and staring. White horizontal bands of light move vertically down the painting to indicate the re-looping of the video, which produces a pleasing optical sensation — a complementary vibe to the light, lyrical expressionism of the flowers and grass, and negative space of the spray-stenciled figures. Lutz-Kinoy’s choices are strong. The overall effect is, mostly, unfettered relaxation: floating past any theoretical dissent.

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