Ronald Gonzalez is a contemporary figurative artist based in upstate New York. Since the mid seventies the artist has worked from his garage studio creating elegiac sculptures and installations that are embodiments of death and loss infused with grotesque narrative, and pathos. Gonzalez works primarily in a series with steel armatures and macabre collections of time worn objects, and detritus from his surroundings. The work is then further eroded with metal filings, burned wax, glue, wire, and black soot creating a dramatic tonal range that both obscures and reveals anthropomorphic heads, torsos and figures that appear as charred fetishistic mementos possessing a visceral quality imbued with a sense of primal energy and distress that permeates his work. His obsessive production of angst-ridden sculptures explore the emotive, social, and psychological associations of decaying found objects that function as autobiographical metaphors charged with potent and recurring symbols with childhood and nostalgic references. Gonzalez’s sculpture is mournful, confrontational, and estranged, standing on the border between human personage and doomed phantom. His restless investigation of animating materials has produced an art of dissolution with archaic, apocalyptic, and quasi-alien elements that convey an animistic mode of thought and intensely evocative expression of the human condition. His work has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D C. De Cordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA. Savanna College of Art & Design, Savannah, GA. The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS. Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis, MI. Everson Museum, Syracuse, N.Y. Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art, NY. University of Southern California, LA. Allan Stone Gallery, NY. Salina Art Center, KS. Intar Gallery, NY. Anthony Brunelli Gallery, Binghamton, NY, The Hudson Walker Gallery of Art, Provincetown, MA. Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva NY, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY, Jonathan Levine Projects, Jersey City, NJ. V.23 Gallery, London UK. Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY. Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC. Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame, IN. Atlanta College of Art, GA. Gallery 24, Berlin, Cavin Morris Gallery, NY. Alternative Museum, NY. Institute Cultural Peruano Norte Americano, Lima, Peru. Art Omi, Ghent, NY.Rhode Island School Of Design, Providence, RI. Muse De Arte Modern, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Art Basel, Miami Fl. Galerie Protégé, NY Galerija SULUJ, Belgrade, Serbia, Menier Gallery, London UK, Czong Institute of Contemporary Art, Gimpo-Si, Gyeonggi- do, South Korea, Aqua Miami, Fl., Space Millepiani, Rome Italy, Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angles, Ca. Art in Embassies, Benin, Africa, Guerrilla Zoo, Newspeak house, London UK, George Billis Gallery, NY. Sculpture Fields of Nova’s Art. Bridgehampton, NY. These works are simultaneously beings and things. The objects that I use have been ravaged by possession and memory. Like us, they have endured with all their marks of desolation. My work speaks to their pathos as part of what is common to all things. These inanimate bodies are a source of sorrow and gesture of accumulation expressing a sorted tone of angst. They are solitary and decaying personas still existing in this world set in their final place as imaginary beings of nostalgia, deformation and mortality.
- Deborah Barr