Matthew Ritchie

Line of Play (2009)

Powder coated aluminum, vinyl and acrylic
Approximately 30 feet 6 inches by 20 feet 5 inches

Located in Main Concourse, NW Entry

Made of powder-coated aluminum, vinyl, and acrylic paint, Matthew Ritchie’s Line of Play (2009) transforms the age-old medium of drawing. The work becomes a metaphor for the many ways people make sense of just about everything from our surroundings to life’s purpose to whatever might lie beyond. In Ritchie’s hands, art is an ongoing experiment, an ever-expanding inquiry we puzzle over as we discover new ideas, change our minds about old ones, and come up with more questions.

It all starts with the marks coaches make when they diagram plays. Ritchie transfers the Xs and Os they draw on chalkboards to a computer, where he turns them into swirling force fields of animated energy. The London-born, New York-based artist describes Line of Play as two figures passing something between them. It does not take a great leap to see what he means even if it is impossible to identify those figures and that object. That is the point. Ritchie’s futuristic triptych does not depict things we already know, so much as it gives us a glimpse of things we have never seen.

Ritchie emerged as an artist in the 1990s, when the Information Age entered into its digital phase and the Internet made more information accessible to more people than ever before. His works are all based on the possibilities presented by technology’s capacity to bring together advanced systems of inquiry. Ritchie often collaborates with neurologists, physicists, philosophers, historians, and game theorists in order to push knowledge, consciousness, and beliefs beyond their existing limits.

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