Mass MoCA
North Adams
87 Marshall Street
413 6622111 FAX 413 6638548
Matthew Ritchie
dal 18/6/2004 al 19/7/2004
413 6644481 FAX 413 6638548
Segnalato da

Katherine Myers


Matthew Ritchie

calendario eventi  :: 


Matthew Ritchie

Mass MoCA, North Adams

Ritchie's sprawling vision of the universe is laid out for MASS MoCA visitors in his major exhibition Proposition Player which features paintings, more than 250' of wall drawings, a massive aluminum sculpture, light boxes, and a digital craps table.

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Picturing the Cosmos Explores Sources of Matthew Ritchie’s Inspiration

Companion exhibition to Ritchie’s Proposition Player will open June 19 at MASS MoCA

(North Adams, Massachusetts) – Matthew Ritchie’s sprawling vision of the universe is laid out for MASS MoCA visitors in his major exhibition Proposition Player which features paintings, more than 250’ of wall drawings, a massive aluminum sculpture, light boxes, and a digital craps table. Visitors this summer and fall will find additional material to help them understand and appreciate the complex, layered language Ritchie has developed to consider the big question – “if there is an order to the universe, what does it look like?” Picturing the Cosmos: Images from Genesis to String Theory will feature mythological and scientific books and ephemera directly related to Ritchie’s iconography. Kepler, the archangels, particle physics, voodoo vévés and more will be part of the exhibition in MASS MoCA’s Michael & Agnese Meehan and Prints and Drawings Gallery through December 2004

In his work Ritchie draws upon the visual offerings of a wide array of disciplines and traditions -- scientific modeling, religious symbolism, and mystic iconography among others. In creating his paintings, drawings, light boxes and more these visual expressions of cosmological order intersect, bleeding into one another. Picturing the Cosmos untangles this web of data by presenting individual examples of the graphic material that fuels Ritchie’s work.

The exhibition includes scientific and religious/mystical images which are found in equal parts in Ritchie’s work. Though frequently seen as being diametrically opposed to one another, science and religion peacefully co-exist in the Nuremberg Chronicles – a seminal Northern Renaissance which fused the Bible’s creation story with astronomical theories of the time to create the history of a God-created, earth-centered cosmos. In modern times science continues to produce visual representations of cosmological order. Most recently string theory, a branch of physics that comes out of quantum theory, represents science’s latest attempt at providing a “theory of everything” – one that can explain everything from the Big Bang (a favorite topic of Ritchie’s) to the basic behavior of particles.

The exhibition and Ritchie’s work draw on theories and traditions well beyond the conventional offerings of Western science and religion, using Tarot and Voodoo symbols for example. In Tarot the practitioner entrusts him/herself to the chance unfolding of the cards’ prescribed iconographic system. The interplay of imagery and fate produces a narrative that imposes order on the practitioner’s life. In the Voodoo religion, one also finds graphic material functioning in an ordering capacity.

As disparate and arbitrary as these objects might appear, all of the materials in Picturing the Cosmos share their dependence on graphic material as a means of conveying information about the world/universe’s order. The diversity in their form and content testifies to the rich complexity of strategies that people have devised to structure their existence and it is this very diversity that finds expression in the work of Matthew Ritchie.

Organized by Matthew Levy, an intern from the Williams College-Clark Art Institute Graduate Program in the History of Art, the exhibition is part of the continuing series of MASS MoCA exhibitions presented in collaboration with the Clark Art Institute in support of MASS MoCA and the Williams/Clark Graduate program in the History of Art. The Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute has been placing interns from its graduate art program in the curatorial department at MASS MoCA since well before MASS MoCA opened. “Clark graduate students have curated some of our most interesting and thoughtful shows so Matt’s exhibition joins a long and distinguished list. Our first exhibition in 1996 David Byrne’s Desire was curated by Clark interns and more graduate students have organized exhibitions here every year since our opening in 1999,” said Joseph Thompson, director of MASS MoCA.

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