Gallery Conversation » The Beyond Artist Matthew Ronay
Join artist Matthew Ronay for a conversation on his artwork in the temporary exhibition The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe & Contemporary Art.
Space is limited; please arrive 5 to 10 minutes early.
The Gallery Conversation is free, but a ticket to the exhibition is required: $10 (Free for members and youth ages 18 and under), available at Guest Services or https://crystalbridges.org/okeeffe
About the Artist
Matthew Ronay’s work can prompt disparate associations: deep-sea diving, bodily forms, or visions of alien landscapes. The colorful, organic structures protrude and fold in brilliant abstractions that feel vaguely familiar. Ronay’s original shapes arise from automatic drawing, which he then translates into three dimensions in wood and other materials. Ronay connects this process of doodling back to nature, acknowledging that humans are part of it and therefore able to transmit some base knowledge through our bodies. In this way, the plant-like structures, phallic forms, and bodily orifices suggested among his abstractions become extensions of a natural world sustained through reproduction, whether in botany or among humans and animals.
A certain level of deception emerges from this oscillation on the peripheries of identification, and it is emboldened through the treatment of material. Originally working exclusively in wood, but now also integrating materials like steel and plastic, Ronay manipulates the smoothed painted surfaces to look like Play-Doh creations of surrealist fantasies. His vibrant color selections stem from an interest in the role colors plays in perception, something particularly relevant to Ronay, who is color blind.