Tony Cox & Matthew Ronay
Apr 04 — May 09
Marlborough Chelsea is pleased to present Outer Loop a two-person exhibition by Tony Cox and Matthew Ronay in our 2nd floor gallery.
The show takes its title from the beltway around Louisville, KY, where the two artists grew up together, but is evocative also of their shared penchant for the further flung reaches of culture. This includes colorful abstraction, Appalachian folk art, science fiction and a self-determined spirituality that hints at the cosmic but positions them outside of any New Age mainstream.
Cox’s paintings are hand-embroidered in bold geometric designs and stylized landscape using brightly hued and metallic threads pulled through acrylic-coated stretched canvas. The mantra- like repetition of stitches together with vivid patterning, are reminiscent of mandalas and other sacred art, but Cox imbues the works with an off-kilter humor and pathos that places them squarely in his head and from his inimitable hand.
Ronay’s hand-carved basswood sculptures, while often heavily patterned with dimples, curves and cairn-like stacks, eschew hard edge abstraction for a molecular, spore-like affect coupled with a kind of suggestive figuration in the form of disembodied hands and tongues. Ingeniously and idiosyncratically composed from multiple pieces of wood and sections of canvas that have been lushly dyed in a spectrum of rich colors, the works have the natural feel of an organism, growing and replicating itself like a coral reef or Martian bacterium.
Together, the works play off their commonalities of color and line, but also a commitment to the labor-intensive qualities of the handcrafted and the prayer-like meditative focus required of their making—a focus that has allowed the artists to block out many of the more conventional concerns of their contemporaries.
Tony Cox (b. 1975 in Louisville, KY). Recent exhibitions include Outer Loop (with Matthew Ronay) at Marlborough Chelsea, New York, NY (2015); B-Side at Home Alone 2, New York, NY (2013); Tony Cox at Marlborough Broome Street, New York, NY (2013); Incense at Fuse Gallery, New York, NY (2011); White Trash Mystic at 211 Elizabeth St, New York, NY (2010); and Too Blonde To Be Catalan at FD Gallery, Barcelona, Spain (2007). The artist currently lives and works in Mount Tremper, New York.
Matthew Ronay (b. in 1976 in Louisville, KY) received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and his MFA from Yale University. Recent solo exhibitions include Organ/Organelle at Marc Foxx, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Wavelength at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY (2014); The Door Is Open at Kunsthalle Lingen, Lingen, Germany (2014); Mounting Toward Zenith / Descending and Disappearing at Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, KY (2013). Recent group exhibitions include 12th Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France (2013); A Disagreeable Object at Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY (2012); Secret Societies at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfort, Germany (2011). The artist lives and works in New York, New York.