View of “Matthew Ronay,” 2011.

Matthew Ronay

Andrea Rosen Gallery

View of “Matthew Ronay,” 2011.

Whether framed as a strictly secular technical achievement or as the apotheosis of a kind of mystico-spiritual transference, the question of how one goes about successfully imbuing objects with meaning and power persists as a central challenge of artmaking. Matthew Ronay’s recent show at Andrea Rosen was quite explicitly aligned with the latter of these two conceptions, putting its bet down firmly on the side of creative magic. Dubbed “Between the Worlds,” it consisted of roughly thirty-eight individual works, nearly all of which were enlisted in the service of a single immersive, walk-in sculptural environment ripe with a range of archetypal “primitivist” formal motifs and ostensibly designed to call forth some sort of deep-seated psycho-emotional response. Whether you found your hidden springs unblocked by the experience was down to the degree to which you buy into Ronay’s

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