New Dewey Square Mural Will Be Unveiled This Friday

It's not quite as colorful, but it's way more intricate.

Photo by the ICA

Photo by the ICA

The colorfully controversial Dewey Square mural that depicted a young boy in his pajamas, squeezed into a space on one of MassDOT’s structures along the Greenway, is no more.

But by Friday, passerby mingling around South Station will have a new piece of artwork to judge and gawk at, as the city officially unveils the latest installation on the side of the Air Intake building located between Summer and Congress Streets.

The new 70-foot-by-70-foot mural—titled Remanence: Salt and Light (Part II)—“draws inspiration from Boston’s history and waterfront location,” according to featured artist Matthew Ritchie, who will be at the unveiling of the project on the Greenway this on September 20.

“Matthew Ritchie uses abstractions on a very grand scale to visualize information about systems of time, the creation of the universe, theories in physics, and the history of art,” said Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the ICA. “We’re thrilled to bring the evocative beauty and the dynamic history of abstract painting into the daily public life in Boston.”

The mural is the second partnership between officials from the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, and curators at the Institute of Contemporary Art, who helped rope in Ritchie for this particular painting. Ritchie got the help of several other artists in order to cover the massive space.

“We are delighted to partner with the ICA to bring another internationally renowned artist’s work to the Greenway,” said Jesse Brackenbury, COO of the Conservancy group. “Our temporary exhibitions keep things changing so park visitors will come back to see what’s new. We want the Greenway to be a destination for contemporary public art.”

The ICA announced in June that the first-ever mural, by Brazilian brothers Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, who go by “Os Gemeos,” would be replaced. Since the end of August, painters have been working diligently to cover the once hotly debated artwork, in order to prep the space for Ritchie’s vision. Friday’s unveiling will include an interactive musical element as well.

According to a statement, the new mural marks the start of Ritchie’s 18-month residency at the ICA—organized by Jenelle Porter, ICA Mannion Family Senior Curator—that encompasses several major works and will activate the entire museum through installation, sound, performance, and video.