Matthew Ritchie: Proposition Player is an exhibition of artworks created with an interest in engaging consciousness. While the works contain a seemingly chaotic arrangement of colors and forms, each piece is in fact a deliberate map of the limitless connections that make up the universe's implicit order. The visual and underlying order in Ritchie's work mirrors the chaos and order of the universe.
The density of the work on view is the result of Matthew Ritchie's desire to see everything. "It's a fathomless desire, a weakness and a strength. But to do such a thing, you have to turn information into a physical form." Drawing from varied subjectsâ€”ranging from quantum physics to philosophy, from comparative religion to color theory, from game theory to mythology to pulp fictionâ€”Ritchie offers an opportunity for viewers to use his abstract maps and characters to further explore concepts accessible in the public domain.
In an attempt to organize the abundance of information he has gathered, the artist conceived of forty-nine characters organized in a matrix of seven families of seven. These characters reappear in his work, continuously creating new narratives and possibilities and constantly establishing relationships with one another.
A "proposition player" is a person brought in by a casino to encourage play. Ritchie, through this compelling interactive work, becomes a proposition player of sorts, inviting viewers to join him in a game. While explorers may choose to refer to his playing cards, texts and charts to untangle the complex continuum of Ritchie's universe, all viewers can loose themselves in the sheer energy, vibrancy, and depth contained within his work. "In the information casino," states the artist, "everyone can be a player."
As a FWM Artist-in-Residence, Matthew Ritchie worked in collaboration with the FWM to create The God Impersonator, an intricate, colorful floor sculpture that forms one part of the artist's larger, interactive installation and exhibition, Proposition Player. Constructed from custom-colored Johnsonite floor tiles, each interlocking piece was water jet-cut into CAD rendered shapes.
In addition to The God Impersonator, the FWM also presents Ritchie's latest work, Clinamen, a single-channel animation projection that is the prototype for a total animated environment and co-produced by the FWM; The Two-Way Joint, a backlit lenticular print which carries an image that changes when viewed from different vantage points; Proposition Player, an interactive craps game that takes the player through five stages of the evolution of the universe; and a variety of paintings and drawings, including a suite of drawings titled Five of a Kind.
Matthew Ritchie, Artist-in-Residence at the FWM, working on The God Impersonator.
Matthew Ritchie, born in London in 1964, resides and works in New York City. He attended Boston University and received his BFA from the Camberwell School of Art, London. The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston organized the first major museum exhibition of Ritchie's work in 2003 which traveled to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Mass. Recent solo exhibitions of his work were also held at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, N.Y. (2002), Dallas Museum of Art (2001) Dallas, Texas, White Cube, London, England (2001), and Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL. (2000). Ritchie has been included in group exhibitions such as the SÃ£o Paulo Bienal, SÃ£o Paulo, Brazil (2004), the Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (2002), Sprawl at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (2002), Urgent Painting at LARC/Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris, France (2002) and Drawing Now: Eight Propositions at the Museum of Modern Art, Queens, N.Y. (2002)
The Fabric Workshop and Museum is the only contemporary art museum in the United States devoted to creating new work in fabric and other materials in collaboration with emerging and established artists from around the world. Founded in 1977, The Fabric Workshop and Museum has developed from an ambitious experiment to a renowned institution with a widely recognized residency program, an extensive collection of work by resident artists, in-house and touring exhibitions, and comprehensive educational programming that includes lectures, tours, in-school presentations, and student apprenticeships.
The exhibition program of The Fabric Workshop and Museum is supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, LLWW Foundation, Nimoy Foundation, AG Foundation, Arcadia Foundation, The Philadelphia Cultural Fund, Independence Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Claneil Foundation, The Miller-Plummer Foundation, Samuel S. Fels Fund, The Barra Foundation, and the Board of Directors and members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.
For more information, please contact Emily Goldsleger at 215-568-1111
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