Art Review Matthew Ronay, is the shadow

18 Apr

Matthew ROnay


I really love Matthew Ronay for his ability to make ordinary objects have a totem-like power about them, it’s really hard to describe out of context, and even some image of them doesn’t really pass on that quality.    There’s a carefulness about his pieces–for instance, is the shadow, at first glance just looks like a collection of things, but you really see the care involved in putting them together.  For instance it is not just a bundle of sticks, they’re (probably hand carved) dowels, bunched together on a rug with thin rug, and above it a platter of half circles of wood arranged like some strange housewife appetizer.

That’s the key word here, arranged, in the middle of the floor, looking so susceptible to being disturbed, they remind me of something so easily trampled on by accident, so set against the movements of inertia, there’s a subtle power here, it almost doesn’t matter why these things are assembled in this manner, it’s that they were done so on purpose by some hand and breaking them apart would be like spitting on an altar.

Sometimes the art isn’t about what it’s about–actually it usually isn’t, but it’s about the craft of the piece, sort of like if you were watching dancing and even if you didn’t know the moves, just knowing that they had to work really hard just to stand on their toes like that brings a certain amount of awe.

I didn’t expect to like Matthew Ronay–I didn’t expect to see the human nature drawn out in little piles on tiny rugs, but I did.  I highly recommend his works.

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