Matthew Ritchie - Under the Influence New York Thursday, March 8, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
    Private collection

  • Catalogue Essay

    Having perfected his craft in both painting and sculpture, Matthew Ritchie is an artist of many talents. The present lot, The New Place, exhibits Ritchie’s masterly painting technique, displaying the many qualities that have made the artist so ubiquitously known and renowned throughout the art world. Like a Rorschach diagram, Ritchie’s works suggest different things to different viewers, and our individual experiences of it can change and shift depending on our contexts and surroundings. Many of Ritchie’s compositions, as seen in the present lot, draw upon references from past artistic movements. However, depending on the viewer, such references are always open to interpretation. Upon first inspection, Abstract Expressionism readily comes to mind with its nonfigurative, loose approach. Broad and wild brush strokes consume the canvas, granting us a window into the artist’s inner psyche, as the Expressionist period was so famous for. Yet this work also draws parallels to Impressionism with cursory brush strokes that can be interpreted as shapes, comparable in some respects to Monet’s water lilies.

    While this work can be construed as reflecting previous periods in art history, it maintains Ritchie’s own personal and profoundly contemporary technique, differing from predecessors in its tightness, linearity and composition. Additionally, Ritchie draws upon philosophical, religious, and scientific narratives to create a complex universe, where various theories interact with each other in a singular work. Many paintings by Ritchie, although abstract, often display a somewhat representational technique as well. His works often appear intra-cellular, as if we are observing a biological culture under a microscope. In other cases, they take on a more geometric or architectural tone. The present lot is unique in that it comprises such a wide array of techniques employed by the artist throughout his career. It is simultaneously expressionistic, impressionistic, organic and dream-like. The New Place showcases all of the traits that allow Matthew Ritchie to transcend countless different audiences around the world.


The New Place

oil and marker on canvas
54 x 86 in. (137.16 x 219.71 cm)
Signed "Matthew Ritchie" on the reverse.

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $182,500

Under the Influence

8 March 2012
New York