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Matthew Ronay: The Tombs Are Upset

5 May 2023 - 10 June 2023



Perrotin Hong Kong is pleased to present The Tombs Are Upset, a solo exhibition by Matthew Ronay on view from May 5 to June 10, 2023 – the artist’s first presentation in our Hong Kong gallery. Ronay presents six new sculptures in his signature medium of hand-carved, hand-dyed polychromed basswood.

The exhibition’s title is derived from a single artwork which is installed on a single pedestal in one gallery, spanning over three and a half meters (eleven and a half feet). The artwork is composed of a series of compositions, each placing one abstracted, biomorphic element in conversation with another. The resulting processional is a practice the artist has expanded in recent years through exhibitions at Perrotin Shanghai (2020) and the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas (2022), wherein the linear aspect of the artworks invite the viewers to encounter the pieces as a narrative that unfurls, temporally. Each work begins as a drawing, summoned from the artist’s subconsciousness. As three-dimensional sculptures, Ronay reflects this process by installing works so viewers view them front to back, left to right, each vignette resolving into the next.

In The Tombs Are Upset, the works are born from Ronay’s reflections upon death, the study of Eschatology, and the way in which the experience of living is framed by the knowledge of an end. The artist points to the rapid advancement of technology as accelerating an inevitable death. Throughout the exhibition, Ronay’s forms allude to processes of the body, creatures and growths, alongside technological components, that ultimately evade true representation. His sculptures become hybrid creatures embodying our technologically saturated modern experience; amalgamates of body and machine reckoning with the futility of life.


Born in 1976 in Louisville, Kentucky, Matthew Ronay studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art before earning his Masters in Fine Arts from Yale University in 2000. Ronay has exhibited at institutions including Kunsthalle Lingen, Germany; University of Louisville, Kentucky; Artspace, San Antonio; Serpentine Gallery, London; Sculpture Center, New York; Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, New York; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville; and Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London. Ronay participated in the 2013 Lyon Biennale, curated by Gunnar Kvaran, and the 2004 Whitney Biennial. In 2016, his work was the subject of solo-presentations at the Blaffer Art Museum, Houston, Texas and the Pérez Art Museum Miami, Florida.


5 May 2023
10 June 2023
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