Shemjaza

 
Artist
Creation date
Materials
oil and marker on canvas
Dimensions
92 x 78-1/2 x 2 in. (unframed)
Credit line
Gift of the Contemporary Art Society and the friends of Jack and Audrey Larman
Accession number
1998.38
Collection
Currently On View In
Carolyn M. Schaefer & John B. Gray Jr. Gallery - K402

Human forms and gem-like particles ebb and swim in a cloud of color and scribbles. Matthew Ritchie pours paint into the scratched surface and draws flowcharts with a black marker.

Ritchie is interested in the ways that information is represented through mapping, symbolism, and other kinds of shorthand. His canvas is a patchwork of stories drawn from science and myth. Shemjaza comes from a parable about seven dethroned angels, each of whom the artist associates with an attribute and part of the human mind. In Ritchie's system, Shemjaza represents the concept of repentance and the brain's limbic system.

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