New York

Matthew Ritchie

Andrea Rosen Gallery

Don’t think of Matthew Ritchie’s work as painting, exactly. It’s more a collection of grandiose narrative schemata and possibly crackpot notions involving science, theology, information theory, and who knows what else. Sure, painted canvases play a conspicuous role, and these are both striking and intricate, with their puzzlelike aggregations of colored shapes, nervous draftsmanship, and annotations in black marker. They are mostly nonrepresentational, it would seem, though there is a bit of recognizable imagery, too: For instance, one of several works titled (like the show as a whole) Parents and Children (all works 2000) appears to show a male figure with skulls floating above his head ascending a rocky crag crowned by a bare tree. But for all their visual hyperactivity, Ritchie’s paintings seem unconcerned with visually embodying the meanings they conceptually encode. They are essentially

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