Matthew Ritchie at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Multipart installation consisting of Snake Eyes, oil and marker on canvas, 251.5 x 335.3 cm; The Hierarchy Problem, acrylic on wall, 426.7 x 3657.6 cm; The Two Way Joint, photographic print on Duratrans mounted on lenticular acrylic panels, aluminum frame

Season 3 artist Matthew Ritchie’s The Hierarchy Problem (2003) and The Fine Constant (2003) are on view at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao as part of Installations: Selections from the Guggenheim Collections, an exhibition curated by Nat Trotman and which just opened a couple of days ago. Together with three more pieces by artists David Altmejd (The University 2, 2004), Rirkrit Tiravanija (Untitled 2002 – he promised-, 2002) and Javier Pérez (Mask of Seduction, 1997), Ritchie’s multipart installation completes the selection of works that look to envelop audiences in the total experiences provided by their installations, which gain their full meaning through interaction and participation. Viewers are encouraged to dive into the pieces and explore architectural constructions and spaces through painting, sound, sculpture and a variety of different media.

In a playful game of space and physics, The Hierarchy Problem and The Fine Constant create relationships between different objects (a mural, a painting, a carpet, a light box and a sculpture), materializing the visual connections that exist in space between these objects and thus turning what we usually cannot see (the space between things in the vastness of the material universe) into a physical reality. The system of symbols used in Ritchie’s murals has a very particular beauty and appeal to the eye. Their black over white curving shapes seem to form almost an alphabet where our gaze is lost when trying to decipher its meaning.

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