Matthias Leutrum: Roofing Tar Paintings

exhibition dates: September 3 - 28, 2013

reception: Thursday, September 5, 6 - 8 pm


Matthias Leutrum ‘s Roofing Tar Paintings emerged from a surplus of roofing tar and plywood left behind in his studio attic by the previous occupant. The vibrant, multi-hued imagery he creates from these leftover materials are a visceral response to the tar, which is extremely resistant to any kind of manipulation and demands a very deliberate imposing of will. “Moving through the thick and sticky roofing tar is a messy and unpleasant business, like treading through molasses,” attests Leutrum, who finds that “applying highly diluted paint with the brush onto this gooey and somewhat hostile material is quite seductive and sexy.” While the “Roofing Tar Paintings” are a substantive departure from the representational style of Leutrum’s “Human Cannonball Paintings,” in which motion and propulsion find their visual equivalent through depictions of an aerial circus act, they are also their logical extension. Leutrum was born in Stuttgart, Germany and obtained his M.F.A. from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, France. He lives in New York City and is the Artist in Residence at The Children’s Storefront, an independent school in Harlem. For the academic year 2013-2014 he will be the guest artist at The Harlem School of The Arts. His most recent exhibition was at the A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton, MA and he presented and discussed his “Human Cannonball Paintings” at the Art and Psyche in the City Conference at N.Y.U. in 2012. He will be speaking about his current work at ARAS (Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism) in New York City on September 11th, 2013 at 7.00PM. ( His works can be seen online at