Games of Chance and Skill, 2002
Mixed media hallway installation
132 in. x 924 in. (335.28 cm x 2346.96 cm)
Commissioned with MIT Percent-for-Art Funds
Matthew Ritchie’s three-part installation at MIT, entitled Games of Chance and Skill, incorporates traditional artistic practices of drawing, painting, and sculpture into the contemporary domain of installation and site-specific art. Occupying the 80-foot-long corridor that overlooks the Zesiger Center’s 50-meter Olympic-class pool, Ritchie’s Games of Chance and Skill consists of an enamel mural, sand-blasted and painted glass panels, and a laminated and internally lit ceiling.
In this work, the artist tells a complex section of a story developed in his oeuvre at large, a section that reveals seven of forty-nine different characters that inhabit his works. Each embodies a fundamental structure of science and represents a specific spatial and temporal position. Abstract forms evoke seven critical stages in the emergence of the universe matched with equations drawn from various scientific fields, to describe the growth of the universe from the moment of the Big Bang to the evolution of life and human consciousness. Underlying the entire structure is an abstract form the artist calls the swimmer that represents for him the space-time continuum. Ultimately Ritchie’s theme is our relationship to the laws of the universe and how we play our games of chance and skill amidst those laws, not ruled by them.
Building Number: W35
Accession Number: PFA.2002.001