1964, London, England
BFA, Camberwell School of
Art, London; Boston University, Boston, MA
Lives and Works
New York, NY
The Essential Diagrams, 2002. One of twelve vinyl decals, dimensions variable. Photo © Matthew
Ritchie. Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
Media & Materials
drawing, installation, painting,
digital imaging, metal
Matthew Ritchie’s artistic
ambition is to represent the
entire universe and the structures of knowledge and belief
that we use to visualize it.
Ritchie’s encyclopedic project
stems from his imagination,
and references Judaeo-Chris-tian religion, occult practices,
Gnostic traditions, and scientific principles. Ritchie’s
paintings, installations, and
narrative threads delineate
the universe’s formation as
well as the attempts and
limits of human consciousness
to comprehend its vastness.
Although often described as a
painter, Ritchie creates floor-to-wall installations, free-standing sculpture, Web sites,
and short stories, which tie his
sprawling works together into
a narrative structure. He scans
his drawings into a computer
so that images can be blown
up, taken apart, made smaller
“Drawing is very central to the way I work because it can be blown up, taken apart,
given to another person to execute, put into a computer, eaten by the computer,
spit out by the computer, redrawn as if the computer had thought of your drawing
in the first place, shrunk back down to a tiny sketch, turned into a digital game.
You can just keep on pushing it, like this infinite machine, which is very hard to do
with almost anything else. Even with a painting. A painting becomes a very static
fixed thing, like a miniature part of the world, when you’re done. But you can make
a drawing three-dimensional. You can make it flat. You can turn it into a sphere.
You can just keep pushing it and pushing it: all it is, is information. It’s just a bunch
of marks. Once you understand it as this thing, it becomes very easy to think of it
as a material rather than as a precious object.”
Self-Portrait in 2064, 2003. Oil and marker on canvas, 6. 6 x 8. 3' ( 2 x 2. 5 m). Photo by Oren Slor,
© Matthew Ritchie. Courtesy Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.