Sending and receiving. Matthew Ronay
September 11 – October 31, 2020
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.
In Sending and Receiving each work presents diametrically opposed forms. They incorporate offsetting features of bumpy and smooth, hairy and manicured, compressed and swollen. Deliberately choreographed by scale, the forms are frozen in conflicting confrontations of assemblage and dispersal. They form a call and response, as appendages grow, and orifices recede. The color blue winds its way through the works in various hues, deviating slightly when resting on the “power station” of the exhibition -The Pearl, 2020 – a sculpture composed of a turquoise center and flanked on either side by craggy red folds. Extending from its pulsating core are three long tubes which symbolically translate data or energy into the other works in the exhibition.
Ronay begins each work by drawing, an act that softens the membrane between the conscious mind and what lies beneath it. He imbues the sculptures with rhythmic textures and semi-autonomous shapes that emanate from within each complex arrangement. While his earlier pieces dwelled on provocative imagery and gestures, the artist’s recent works reveal a fascination with botany and marine biology. While essentially abstract, the works often conjure associations of reproduction and degradation.
The pinnacle of the exhibition is Sending and Taking, 2020, a large landscape sculpture that presents a gradient of blue antennae, ovoid shapes, conduits, and lilac layers, that resolve into a pageant-like procession. The work encourages a temporal awareness; as each element and sub-unit loosely relates to its opposite, the sculpture wavers on the threshold of engagement. It sets the tone of the room.
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.