Press RoomPhoenix Art Museum partners with Eric Fischl, Phoenix College to host 2024 Eric Fischl Series featuring artist Matthew Ritchie; Museum acquires large-scale work by the artist

Phoenix Art Museum partners with Eric Fischl, Phoenix College to host 2024 Eric Fischl Series featuring artist Matthew Ritchie; Museum acquires large-scale work by the artist

Mar, 18, 2024

Special Events and Programs

Phoenix Art Museum partners with Eric Fischl, Phoenix College to host 2024 Eric Fischl Series featuring artist Matthew Ritchie; Museum acquires large-scale work by the artist

The evening includes an exhibition of artwork by Phoenix College students, the Vanguard Awards presentation, and a conversation between Fischl and the renowned British contemporary artist

Image credit: Matthew Ritchie, Something Like Day, 2004. Lenticular lightbox panels in aluminum frame. Collection of Phoenix Art Museum, Gift in Honor of Yuko Hasegawa

PHOENIX (March 18, 2024) – This spring, Phoenix Art Museum (PhxArt) hosts the 2024 Eric Fischl Series in partnership with Phoenix College (PC) and contemporary painter, sculptor, author, and PC alumnus Eric Fischl. The event includes a student art exhibition and reception in Cummings Great Hall, followed by the Vanguard Awards presentation and a conversation between Eric Fischl and guest artist Matthew Ritchie in Whiteman Hall. Coinciding with the program at PhxArt, the Museum has acquired Ritchie’s luminous installation Something Like Day (2004), which is on view now in Cummings Great Hall. The 2024 Eric Fischl series will be hosted on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 from 7 – 8:30 pm. Tickets are $5 for the public and free for Museum Members and are available here. Tickets are free for Maricopa County Community College students with an active ID.

“We are excited to welcome Matthew Ritchie to Phoenix Art Museum as this year’s Eric Fischl Lecture speaker,” said Jeremy Mikolajczak, the Museum’s Sybil Harrington Director and CEO. “Our continued partnership with Phoenix College and Eric Fischl in presenting this annual lecture series is a testament to our community’s commitment to supporting emerging artists and connecting them with some of the most dynamic artists of our time. This year is exceptional as students and visitors hear directly from Ritchie and experience one of his early large-scale architectural works, a 40-foot illuminated wall, which we are proud to now feature in the collection.”

Each year, the Eric Fischl series hosted by Phoenix College and held at Phoenix Art Museum draws students, artists, and community members for engaging conversations about art. The 2024 Eric Fischl guest artist is New-York based Matthew Ritchie, an accomplished contemporary artist who seeks to describe the intangible links between information and collective thought. Since the early 1990s, Ritchie (b. 1964, London) has developed an installation and painting practice drawing from the vocabularies of science, sociology, anthropology, mythology and the history of art, with the goal of representing the entire universe. In his paintings, installations, wall drawings, light boxes, sculptures, projections, artists books, and performances, he describes systems, ideas, structures of knowledge and belief, and their subsequent interpretations in a kind of cerebral web that makes tangible and recognizable ephemeral and abstract theories of information and time. Ritchie has collaborated with scientists, computer programmers, and architects to realize his large-scale installation works like Something Like Day (2004), a new acquisition to the Phoenix Art Museum Collection that is currently on view in Cummings Great Hall. The lightbox display boasts a holograph-like effect; as the visitor walks alongside and in front of it, naked figures metamorphize into skeletons and vice versa depending on which way you approach the work. Ritchie earned a BFA from Camberwell College of Arts in 1986 and attended Boston University.

The event on April 10 will begin with an exhibition of artwork by Phoenix College students on view in the Museum’s Cummings Great Hall. As part of the 2024 Eric Fischl Series, Fischl and Ritchie will also present the prestigious Vanguard Awards to students whose works are selected as “Best in Show” from pieces submitted to the annual exhibition. Fischl created the Vanguard Award in 2005 to recognize emerging student talent in the fine arts, establish Phoenix College as a center for the arts in downtown Phoenix, and create life-changing opportunities for students. Recipients of the award receive $2,500. To date, more than 62 students have been presented with the Vanguard Award.

The evening will close with an engaging conversation between Fischl and Ritchie in Whiteman Hall, during which visitors will learn about Ritchie’s artistic practice and how his works tie together in a narrative structure.

Through the Maricopa County Community Colleges District (MCCCD) program at Phoenix Art Museum, tickets to the Eric Fischl Lecture are free for all MCCCD students who attend any of the 10 colleges or affiliated skill centers. An active student ID is required at check-in and time of purchase. Through the MCCCD program, MCCCD students also enjoy free access to PhxArt, including special-engagement exhibitions, made possible through the generosity of Men’s Arts Council.

For more information, high-resolution photography, or a copy of this news release in Spanish, contact the Communications Office at 602.257.2117 or

About Phoenix Art Museum
Since 1959, Phoenix Art Museum has provided millions of guests with access to world-class art and experiences in an effort to ignite imaginations, create meaningful connections, and serve as a brave space for all people who wish to experience the transformative power of art. Located in Phoenix’s Central Corridor, the Museum is a vibrant destination for the visual arts and the largest art museum in the southwestern United States. Each year, more than 300,000 guests engage with critically acclaimed national and international exhibitions and the Museum’s collection of more than 20,000 works of American and Western American, Asian, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art, and fashion design. The Museum also presents a comprehensive film program, live performances, and educational programs designed for visitors of all ages, along with vibrant photography exhibitions made possible through the Museum’s landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. To learn more about Phoenix Art Museum, visit, or call 602.257.1880.

About Matthew Ritchie
Matthew Ritchie has exhibited internationally over the past two decades, including solo presentations at the CVAD Galleries at the University of North Texas (2021); Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University, Houston, TX (2018); Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA (2014); ZKM Karlsruhe (2012), Barbican Theatre, London, UK (2012); Brooklyn Academy of Music (2009), NY, St. Louis Art Museum, MO (2007); MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2004), Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX (2003); and Dallas Museum of Art, TX (2001). Matthew Ritchie: A Garden in the Flood, a major mid-career retrospective at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, was on view from November 2022 through March 2023. He was recently the 2018-21 Dasha Zhukova Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology. Ritchie’s work was included in the 1997 Whitney Biennial, the 2002 Sydney Biennale, the 2004 Bienal de Sao Paulo, the 2008 Seville Bienal, the Havana Bienal, and the 11th International Architecture Biennial, Venice, Italy (2008) as well as major exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston, MA among others. Ritchie lives and works in New York.

About Phoenix College
Phoenix College is the flagship of the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Established in 1920, PC offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training.

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. The Maricopa County Community College District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system,

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