Matthew Ritchie

 BORN 1964 | LONDON, Lives in New York


ICA Collection: Expanding the Field of Painting

The Salt Pit, 2008
Oil and marker on linen
96 x 149 ¾ inches
Extended loan from the artist
Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
Photo: Todd White & Son © Matthew Ritchie

"I'm interested in creating my own self-generated meaning system. To me, a drawing is a small version of a painting, which is a small version of an installation, which is a small version of everything else. My work is explicitly involved with the notion that all drawing, all painting, and all sculpture are about a lot of things."

The Salt Pit is an abstract composition that incorporates freehand drawing and layered mark making to depict a world in ceaseless flux. It evokes the vastness of the universe and our efforts to rationalize, fictionalize, or understand the matter that exists beyond the limits of our perception. Ritchie typically favors a kind of gestamtkunstwerk (total work of art) in which multiple paintings hung together often extend beyond the canvas onto the gallery wall to form an immersive installation. He regards painting not so much as a construction of space as a continuous flow of slowed-down information—multiple threads that seemingly interrupt and/or threaten to cancel each other out. These strands mimic both the flow and upheavals of the universe and the map of neurons racing through the human brain—not to mention the stops, starts, and false starts that twist through the process of painting.


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