Matthew Ronay. Courtesy of the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery.
We have so much, too much that we can buy, yet the basic labor of doing, the making with our own hands is what enlivens us, makes us feel human. . . . I will not let my fingers be reduced to button pushing and switch flicking. There are no tools in my baking kit more useful than my hands, and as long as I can use them to shape bread I will. -Dan Lepard
Andrea Rosen Gallery is delighted to announce Matthew Ronay’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Ronay explores the infinite difference embodied by an array of materials and sculptural methods. Ronay’s work is the product of an osmotic process accessing the ether of cultural production. Like much great work, Ronay’s sculpture is formed by neither reconfiguration nor negation and is able to manifest itself as mysterious and new.
Ronay’s works express the primacy of the handmade object. The artist reminds us that objects are not merely goods to be consumed or representations of a material culture of mass production, but rather, are sites of projection: acting as totems embodying and reflecting desire and our own capacity to imagine. Instead of seeing myths as an earnest, scientific effort to make the world knowable, Ronay’s work explores myth and ritual to render the world less fathomable and more magical.
In a moment of particularly heightened talk of plans and solutions, of issues that can be enumerated and resolved, Ronay’s work invites the viewer to embrace complexity and the challenge of everything not being figured out. In an atmosphere rife with promises to salve fear and anxiety, the artist takes a seemingly defiant stand against a rhetoric of certainty and conviction that is at worst dishonest and at best delusional. Instead of shrouding a narrative in a puzzle of signs to be decoded and understood, the sculptures in this exhibition probe the generative space between object and viewer. It is within this space that Ronay seeks not to transmit meaning held trapped in the work, but rather, to generate an experience simultaneously unstructured and exhilarating in its openness.
Ronay’s work should be seen as an experiment to engender change. It is perhaps through embracing the unconscious that it can be transformed and transgressed.