Perrotin Shanghai is pleased to present Sending and Receiving, a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Matthew Ronay, his first presentation in our Shanghai gallery.
Comprised of eight new sculptures, fashioned in polychromed basswood, they are meticulously hand carved and dyed with a phosphorescent palette. Manifesting a decades-long interest in phenomenology, the works are derived from Ronay’s interactions with his subconscious, which reflect myriad impressions, ranging from the legacy of abstract art and ritualistic habits to the relationship between the body and other organic forms.
The works in this exhibition are engaged with the confrontation and interaction between different entities. The sculptures embody forms in diametric opposition: meetings, clashes, and forgatherings. They are exchanges, they are groups, they are couples; even when solitary, beneath their surfaces are two, three, or multiple essences.
Their palette winds its way through various hues of blue, deviating slightly when resting on the power station of the exhibition: a turquoise center caressed by craggy red folds. Much of what is here is bumpy, hairy, swollen, pulsating, engorged, and corporeal. The scale of four of the sculptures is larger and more horizontal than any I’ve made in the recent past. This longness demands a temporal reading and creates the appearance of action on the threshold of engagement. But who is this action applied to? And what is its tone?
Ronay invests the sculptures with rhythmic textures and shapes that seem to have grown autonomously. While his early works concerned themselves with graphic imagery and figurative gestures, the artist’s most recent bodies of work reveal an appreciation for abstracting botanical and aquatic life and physics. In Ronay’s early practice, humor and a sharp question of authority was often present. In his latest works, the question of power appears to be repositioned on objecthood, material culture and mass production.
Ronay begins each work by drawing, an act that softens the membrane between the conscious mind and what lies beneath it. While essentially abstract, the works often conjure associations of reproduction and degradation. They form a call and response, as appendages grow, and orifices recede.
Born in 1976 in Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Born in 1976 in Louisville, Kentucky, Matthew Ronay studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art before earning his Masters in Fine Arts from Yale University in 2000. Ronay has exhibited at institutions including Kunsthalle Lingen, Germany; University of Louisville, Kentucky; Artspace, San Antonio; Serpentine Gallery, London; Sculpture Center, New York; Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville; and Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London. Ronay participated in the 2013 Lyon Biennale, curated by Gunnar Kvaran, and the 2004 Whitney Biennial. In 2016, his work was the subject of solo-presentations at the Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, Texas and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida.
—More about the artist