Overview

Matthew Ritchie was born in London in 1964, graduated from Camberwell College of Art (BFA) in 1986 and emigrated to the United States in 1987. He lives and works in New York.

 

His environmental installations of paintings, wall drawings, light boxes, games, sculpture, films and performance works are a continuous investigation of the idea of embodied information, explored through a shared universe of interconnected stories and images that draw from art, architecture, science, fiction, sociology, anthropology, mythology, history and the dynamics of culture, all unified by a unique, shared visual language. 

 

Ritchie describes the generation of systems, ideas, and their subsequent interpretations in a kind of cerebral web, concretizing ephemeral and intangible theories of information and time in a unique and recognizable gestural form that emphasizes the human trace.


In 1997, Ritchie began a series of paintings and installations titled The Main Sequence, which aimed to represent visually a theory of everything through a fragmented narrative. Each painting in the series developed as part of an interactive game that attempted to summarize an entire field of knowledge, such as physics and biology, into a multi-layered and immersive story.

 

Ritchie is also committed to ambitious public art projects that can project complex ideas into shared spaces,  focusing on projects where the informational  content of the site can be integrated in to the architectural form of the work.

  

Over the last several years, Ritchie also embarked on a project to chart a comprehensive visual history of the notational mark, or diagram. Divided into three parts, The Temptation of the Diagram, Surrender to the Diagram and The Demon in the Diagram, the ongoing project has thus far manifested in a series of paintings, performances, installations, and a publication that examines the influence on notational language on the systems and production of knowledge. Ritchie’s newest body of work, Time Diagrams, an ambitious one-hundred part sequence of paintings, floor, wall and performance works, seeks to examine the structure and informational language of history, in the same way The Main Sequence examined the informational language and structure of space.


Ritchie has exhibited internationally over the past two decades, including solo presentations at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, Houston, TX (2018); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2014); ZKM Karlsruhe (2012); Barbican Theatre, London, UK (2012); Brooklyn Academy of Music (2009), NY; St. Louis Art Museum, MO (2007); MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2004); Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX (2003); and Dallas Museum of Art, TX (2001). He was recently the 2018-19 Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology. 

 

Ritchie’s work was included in the 1997 Whitney Biennial, the 2002 Sydney Biennale, the 2004 Bienal de Sao Paulo, the 2008 Seville Bienal, the Havana Bienal, and the 11th International Architecture Biennial, Venice, Italy (2008) as well as major exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA.

 

His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY;  Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston, MA among others.

Works
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