CHARLES RITCHIE 16 Pages September 7 -October 16, 2017
Charles Ritchie’s small scaled works on paper are intensely exquisite, muscular and authoritative in translating the physics of light, space and human perception into an intense visual experience.
Charles Ritchie writes: The drawings in this exhibition are called pages because they look like leaves of my sketchbooks, however these sheets were created independently and have never been in books. I have selected my compositions by circling the interior of my studio, often engaging the window, its reflections, and the view outside. Thoughts and dreams are often transcribed on the page in a private note hand, a channeling of my subconscious that heightens my engagement with the process. This writing is essential to my journals, also on view. In recent years, color has evolved as a means for cultivating luminosity. I balance broad washes against fine-point precision and lately I have mixed gum arabic into watercolor in order to build transparent glazes.
Reversals and negation are important. I often rediscover the white of the page or obliterate and reconfigure an image by dry erasing, wetting and scrubbing with fine bristle brushes, and occasionally scratching, scraping and sanding. My essential tool is sustained observation. I have worked in this room with these subjects for thirty-three years. For me, the pages combine looking, memory, association, accident, improvisation, and imagination into extended meditations on self and world.
In 2014 Ritchie’s one person exhibition traveled to Houghton College, Houghton, NY and was on view at Georgetown University, Washington, DC in 2013. Earlier that year he spent two months in a residency at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ballycastle, Ireland. Recent group exhibitions include, “Time Well Spent: Art and Temporality” at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH, “Introspective” at BravinLee programs, New York, NY, “Bye Bye, Old City, The Last Picture Show” at Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, PA. The artist’s work is held in an extensive list of museum collection including The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, The New York Public Library, New York, NY, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT and private collections including the Cartin Collection, Hartford, CT and the Louis-Dreyfus Collection, Mount Kisco, NY.