Matthew Ritchie’s environmental installations of paintings, wall drawings, light boxes, games, sculpture, films and performance works are a continuous investigation of the idea of embodied information, explored through a shared universe of interconnected stories and images that draw from art, architecture, science, fiction, history and the dynamics of culture, all unified by a unique, shared visual language.
In 2001, Time magazine listed Ritchie as one of 100 innovators for the new millennium, for exploring “the unthinkable or the not-yet-thought.” His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions and museums worldwide including the Whitney Biennial, the Sydney Biennial, the Sao Paulo Bienal, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Seville Biennale and the Havana Biennale. Solo exhibitions include; Dallas Museum of Art, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Mass MoCA, Moody Center for the Arts, Portikus, St Louis Museum of Art and ZKM, His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Albright Knox Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and numerous other institutions worldwide.
He has worked extensively with writers, musicians and dancers, including collaborations with Bryce Dessner of the National, Kim and Kelly Deal of the Breeders, Lee Renaldo of Sonic Youth, Shara Worden, Evan Ziporyn, Hope Mohr Dance and authors such as Ben Marcus, Shelly Jackson and Jonathan Lethem. In 2009, he wrote and directed the Long Count, a multi-media song cycle that premiered at Brooklyn Academy of Music and toured to the Holland Festival and the Barbican Center, London, and collaborated on the opera ‘Hypermusic’ with physicist Lisa Randall & composer Hector Parra, which premiered at the Center Pompidou, Paris and traveled to the Barcelona Opera and the Guggenheim Museum.
He has also worked for over fifteen years in public art, focusing on projects where the informational content of the site can be integrated in to the architectural form of the work; including a permanent large-scale installation at MIT, an award winning permanent installation in the Morse Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon, as well as ‘The Morning Line’, commissioned by TBA 21, an architectural scale traveling modular architectural and sound system, that toured several European cities and a 25,000 square foot molecular garden for the Food Drug and Administration in Maryland. His most recent public projects are a four story atrium that contains a history of technology for Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island and an interactive sculpture garden for the Center for Visual Arts and Design at the University of the North Texas, one of the largest art schools in the US.
He is the author of ‘The Temptation of the Diagram’, and has written for Artforum, Flash Art, Art & Text, October, the Contemporary Arts Journal and Edge. He has presented public lectures on numerous subjects in diverse forums including: the Einstein Centennial Symposium, Berlin; the Robert Smithson Symposium, Whitney Museum of American Art; PEN American Center at the New School for Social Research, New York; the Digital Life Design Conference, Munich; the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speakers Series, University of Michigan, the Experiment Marathon, Serpentine Pavilion, the Center for Art, Science and Technology at MIT, Cambridge, ’Seven on Seven’ for Rhizome, the World Science Festival, the College Art Association and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
From 2009-10 he was appointed Distinguished Senior Fellow in the Graduate Fine Arts Program, University of Pennsylvania, in 2012 he was Artist in Residence at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, in 2018 he was Artist in Residence at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University. He is currently a Mentor Professor in the Graduate Visual Arts Program at Columbia University, New York and the Dasha Zhukova Distinguished visiting Artist in Residence at MIT. Awards include the Baloise Art Prize, a National Association of Art Critics award, an ID design award, the Federal Art In Architecture National Honor Award and an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts.
He was born in 1964 in London, graduated from Camberwell College of Art (BFA) in 1986 and emigrated to the United States in 1987. His early experiences included working as a chef, hospital porter, morgue attendant, house painter, and many years working as a building superintendent in downtown New York. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York with his partner and son.