P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2005
January 14, 2005
Matthew Ritchie to Speak at MASS MoCA February 14
(North Adams, Mass.)-- Matthew Ritchie, the mastermind behind MASS MoCA's current exhibition Proposition Player, will discuss his work and answer questions at MASS MoCA on Monday, February 14, 2005, at 7 PM in MASS MoCA's Club B-10. His exhibition will be open until 6:30 and visitors who arrive after 5 PM will get a $4 discounted gallery admission which includes admission to the talk. Members are admitted free to the gallery and the talk.MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on Marshall Street in North Adams on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings.
"Matthew Ritchie's beautiful installation is among the most significant, layered, and visually rich exhibitions we ever hosted," said Joseph C. Thompson, MASS MoCA's director. "And it's also been popular: we hope this will give visitors who've enjoyed his work a final chance to see the show and discuss it with its maker, just before the show closes. Bring your Valentine's dinner date or come on your own!"
Proposition Player is the first major museum exhibition of Ritchie's work and includes enormous new pieces dramatically suited to MASS MoCA's soaring Tall Gallery as well as a selection of paintings, drawings, and light boxes, which Ritchie is well-known for. His complex and imaginary story of the history of the universe is told through monumental wall drawings, expansive sculptural installations, and beautiful digital animations. He explores a self-created cosmological system through his work; an endless and complex landscape where various ideas and concepts can coexist, drawing upon a vocabulary of scientific notations, cartoon characters, mythology, biblical tales and pulp fiction to illustrate the workings of his alternate universe.
Ritchie is obsessed with information. He explains, ""You used to go find information in a book. Now it drenches us constantly. So how do you deal with that? Not through some logical system whereby you first learn A, then B, then C. Instead, you need a way that's at least partly based on chance, because we live in a chance environment. We all have to accept that we're never going to get the full picture about anything. The fundamental description of how the universe works has changed three or four times in the past 15 years alone, which just shows you how open those questions are. It's a game. And that's really what my work is about, creating a model of how I'm thinking at the moment."
As Joseph Kahn explained in The Boston Globe, "At the core of Ritchie's art is 'information,' a sort of raw material from which all of his work evolves, as it is mapped and diagrammed through his own systems of color, line, paint, metal and light. Through his sweeping and incredibly detailed creations, viewers are engaged in his metaphorical search to determine man's place in the cosmos. 'Proposition Player' -- the term refers to a hired casino operative who encourages patrons to play alongside him -- pulls together much of what Ritchie has been exploring for the past decade: It's a visual representation of the universe's creation and evolution from the Big Bang to present day, from the subatomic to the intergalactic. Within the multilayered narrative he has constructed are 49 characters with distinctive physical and metaphysical attributes, woven into a complex cosmology that draws liberally from mythology, thermodynamics, cartography, mathematics, quantum physics, dice games, voodoo, cartoons, and other sources, highbrow and low."
Proposition Player closes February 20. The exhibition is funded in part by the Nimoy Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Admission to In Conversation with Matthew Ritchie is free with exhibition admission. The exhibition will be open from 5 - 6:30 at the reduced price of $4. Reservations are available by calling MASS MoCA Box Office at 413.662.2111 from 11 A.M. until 5 P.M. (closed Tuesdays).
For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Myers
(413) 664-4481 x8113