Matthew Ronay's latest exhibition at Marc Foxx is a fanciful, candy-colored wonderland. Arrayed on interconnected circles of bright red fabric are sixteen, modestly scaled but fantastical constructions that together create a kind of Seussian altarpiece to fecundity.
The carefully carved, intensely colored basswood sculptures refer to mushrooms, spores, stamens and seed pods, but also ovaries, phalluses and fallopian tubes, panpipes, gills, lichen and lava rock.
Although they are not animated, they appear on the verge of motion, about to erupt, ooze, ripple or drip into some new configuration. They are a rare example of thoroughly engaging works that require no explanation. Go see them, just for fun.
Like the works of sculptor Ken Price, Ronay's objects feel as if they dropped, fully formed from outer space, and his workmanship is both impeccable and brave.
In "Breathing Tone," a vaguely tree-shaped sculpture with oval fronds, Ronay has left an imperfection in the wood, a dark, ragged gash in an otherwise smooth, red surface. The irregularity reinforces the work's organic associations but also speaks to an improvisational attitude that is almost musical.
Although the sculptures are carefully arranged in an installation, they feel modular, as if the arrangement could be otherwise. This decision is an astute marketing move to be sure—it's easier to sell smaller pieces—but it's also an opportunity to explore a seemingly endless fecundity.