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February 15 – May 12, 2013
Brown-Forman Gallery, Third Floor

The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft presents, Louisville born, internationally exhibited, artist Matthew Ronay and his installation, Mounting Toward Zenith / Descending And Disappearing.


This installation from 2008 represents the journey of human life, the birth/death cycle and the desire to retain vitality and expand consciousness throughout the aging process. Drawing inspiration from traditional rituals, totems, sacred spaces and ceremonial costumes, as well as the ideas of psychologist C.G. Jung, Mounting Toward Zenith / Descending And Disappearing generates an experience simultaneously unstructured and inspiring in its visual generosity.


Ronay’s Zenith is a formal departure from the artist’s surreal and playful sculptures that addressed the behavior of our material culture and our incessant need to consume and be consumed.  He shifted his efforts to construction of deeper, more personal mythologies, culminating in an elaborate installation in a primordial landscape that invokes deeper meaning and discipline for the hand-made object. In using natural materials like clear pine, sapele, walnut, cherry, mahogany, Douglas fir, sisal twine, cotton, linen, and hemp, Ronay’s imaginary ceremonial rite takes on shamanistic qualities. Encountering sculpture as spiritual object brings a heightened awareness to the human experience.


Ronay’s work is impeccably crafted and made entirely by the artist. The hand-made object is important to Ronay’s process and his notion of energy transference. He states, “doing and making is where the real energy is transferred and transmuted, not in the interpretation of the thing made.” Since 2007, Ronay performs in conjunction with his sculpture installations. His “activation of the piece” is yet another channel of energy transference and provides the viewer with both entertainment and intellectual content. A performance by the artist will occur on February 15th from 5-8pm during the public opening.


Published in conjunction with the exhibition, an 80-page catalog of Ronay’s entire oeuvre will be produced by the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and the University of Louisville Hite Art Institute.


Born in 1976 and raised in Louisville, KY, Ronay earned an MFA from Yale in 2000 and moved to Brooklyn, NY where he currently resides. Recent solo exhibitions include Nils Staerk in Copenhagen, and La Conservera in Murcia, Spain. In the summer of 2011, he had a major one-person exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. Ronay’s earlier solo projects include a presentation of “Between the Worlds” at Artpace in San Antonio, Texas (2010) and “Goin’ Down, Down, Down,” with Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London (2006). His work has recently appeared in group exhibitions at Algus Greenspon, Family Business, and SculptureCenter in New York, and The Horse in Berlin. He showed significant work in the exhibition “Neue Alchemie Kunst der Gegenwart nach Beuys”, at the LWL-Landesmuseum, für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Germany (2010). Ronay has also been included in notable group presentations at the Astrup Fearnley Museum for Modern Art, Oslo; ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Århus, Denmark; the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Serpentine Gallery, London, England and the 2004 Whitney Biennial, New York. Ronay will be featured in the 2013 Lyon Biennial in September.


Support for this exhibition is provided by The Kentucky Arts Council, The Fund For the Arts, Brown-Forman Corporation, P.A. and Jody Howard, and Leslie and James Millar.


Want to learn more about Matthew Ronay?

Check out his publication Matthew Ronay: The Third Attention. On Sale Now.  

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