BIO

Listening to Richard Chartier’s work is like sitting in a room at dusk while the light fades. As colours and detail drain away the eye seeks to compensate, peering eagerly at the slowly disappearing surroundings. The fade-out provokes both ambition and anxiety in the perceiver, and the awareness of seeing and not-seeing becomes as important as the objects of perception. Chartier’s work plays a similar double game of seduction and evasion with the ear.

– Will Montgomery
“On the surface of silence: reticence in the music of Richard Chartier”
from BLOCKS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE UNBROKEN CONTINUUM
(Sound 323, UK)

[With] a hushed aesthetic that shelters a powerful compositional vision. Even when pitched at the fringes of audibility, Chartier’s sounds have an extraordinarily seductive quality.

(The Wire, UK)

 

Richard Chartier (b.1971) is a Los Angeles-based artist considered one of the key figures in minimalist sound art. Chartier’s works explore the inter-relationships between the spatial nature of sound, silence, focus, perception, and the act of listening itself. 

Chartier’s critically acclaimed sound works have been published since 1998 on a variety of noted labels internationally, including Room40 (Australia), Editions Mego (Austria), Important Records (US), Ash International (UK), Raster-Noton (Germany), Spekk (Japan), Trente Oiseaux (Germany), NVO (Austria), Farmacia901 (Italy), 12k (US), and his own imprint LINE (US).

He has collaborated with composer William Basinski; sound artists ELEH, CoH, France Jobin, Robert Curgenven, Taylor Deupree, AGF, and Yann Novak; and German electronic music pioneer Asmus Tietchens. In installation form, he has created works with multimedia artists Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand, visual artist Linn Meyers, and projected light artist Anthony McCall.

Chartier’s sound works and collaborative installations have been presented in museums and galleries internationally including the Whitney Biennial and the influential sound art exhibit Sounding Spaces at NTT/ICC in Tokyo, as well as: Audiorama (Sweden), Le Lieu Unique (Nantes, France), Museo del Mare (Pescaro, Italy), Fundació Gaspar (Barcelona, Spain), Beall Center for Art + Technology (Irvine, CA), Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, (New York, NY) , Call & Response Gallery (London, UK), Eyebeam (New York, NY), I-20 Gallery (New York, NY), Akademie der Kuenste (Berlin, Germany), Castello di Rivoli (Torino, Italy), MACBA (Barcelona, Spain), Centre de Pompidou (Paris, France), The Art Institute of Chicago, PROGR-Zentrum für Kulturproduktion (Bern, Switzerland), and The Contemporary Museum (Baltimore, MD).

Chartier performs his work live at electronic music festivals, art spaces, galleries and museums throughout Europe, Japan, Australia, and North America, including:  MOCA, AxS Festival, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, LACE, and REDCAT in Los Angeles; Mutek, Akousma, and the Musee d’Art Contemporain in Montreal, Canada; EMPAC, Issue Project Room, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Sculpture Center in New York; The ICA, Lovebytes, The Leeds International Film Festival, and the Sage Gateshead in the UK;

GRM/Maison de Radio France and Musée D’Art Contemporain De Bordeaux in France; as well as Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC), Arma 17 (Moscow, Russia), Musiktriennale Koeln (Cologne, Germany) Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt, Germany), Transmediale (Berlin, Germany), Observatori (Valencia, Spain), SONAR (Barcelona, Spain), DEAF (Ireland), NETMAGE (Bologna, Italy), Cimatics (Brussels, Belgium), Archipel Festival (Geneva, Switzerland), The Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands)m La Batie (Genvea, Switzerland), ICC (Tokyo, Japan), The Contemporary Art Centre (Vilnius, Lithuania), Centre of Contemporary Art Znaki Czasu (Torun, Poland), Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Art (Brisbane, Australia), and the Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD).

Chartier’s compositions have accompanied dance works by choreographers Ohad Naharin (Israel), Dustin Klein (Germany) and Marco Blazquez (Spain). 

Since 2000, Chartier has curated his influential recording label LINE; its nearly 100 editions document the compositional and installation work of international sound and video artists who explore the aesthetics of minimalism. Chartier’s Series, the premiere release on LINE, was awarded an Honorable Mention for Digital Music by Austria’s prestigious Prix Ars Electronica in 2001.

In 2006, Chartier was invited by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to create a sound work in conjunction with the Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibit. Specification.Fifteen, composed and performed with Taylor Deupree, is inspired by Sugimoto’s Seascape series and released on Chartier’s LINE label. This work was awarded Honorable Mention for Outstanding Contemporary Artistic Positions in Digital Media Art by the Jury of Transmediale.07 Award (Berlin, Germany). A new version of Specification.Fifteen, with a slowly shifting video work incorporating Sugimoto’s Seascapes images, premiered at Berlin’s Akademie der Kuenste (Berlin, Germany) in 2007 and was subsequently presented at Issue Project Room (New York) and the Center for Contemporary Art (Torun, Poland).

In 2007, Chartier was invited by the Washington Project for the Arts to curate two evenings of video and sound at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, as well as a month of  screenings at G Fine Art (US) and Ellipse Art Center (US). This program, titled ColorField REMIX, assembled an array of internationally noted new media artists responding to the mid-20th Century Color Field movement and the Washington Color School, as part of a city-wide celebration of these historical art movements. An expanded program, retitled Colorfield Variations, continued to travel to digital art/film festivals and museums across the USA and Europe. In 2009, an expanded collection was released to wide acclaim as a DVD edition on LINE.

In 2010, Chartier was awarded a Smithsonian Institution Artist Research Fellowship (SARF) to explore the National Museum of American History’s collection of 19th Century acoustic apparatus for scientific demonstration, with a focus on German physicist Rudolf Koenig’s unique Grand Tonometer (c. 1870-1875), a collection of 670 tuning forks. A live performance based on his recordings of the apparatus, Transparency, premiered at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC.

In 2011, Chartier curated and designed the new media exhibit Data/Fields at Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia, presenting installations by five international artists: Ryoji Ikeda, Mark Fell, Andy Graydon, France Jobin, and Caleb Coppock. The Washington Post described the exhibit as “a sharply installed and smartly edited mini-survey of cutting-edge contemporary art…the works in ‘Data/Fields’ sharpen your senses, even as they blur the boundary between sight and sound.”

In 2012, Chartier relaunched his ambient project Pinkcourtesyphone in a series of releases receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews internationally. As Pinkcourtesyphone, Chartier has collaborated with musicians including Cosey Fanni Tutti, Kid Congo Powers, AGF, William Basinski, thereminist Evelina Domnitch, and harpist Gwyneth Wentink, as well as visual artists Dani Marti and Rob Parrish.

 

RESIDENCIES + FELLOWSHIPS:

FELLOWSHIP . Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship [ Washington, DC ] 2010
RESIDENCY . Music Research Centre, York University [ York, UK ] April 2004

AWARDS + NOMINATIONS:

Absence for Kraft Prize for New Media / WPA [ Washington, DC ] nomination
Transmediale 2007 [ Berlin, Germany ] Honorable Mention for Specification.Fifteen
Series Honorary Mention, Digital Music / PRIX ARS ELECTRONICA 2001 [ Linz, Austria]
James Madison University Art Achievement Award 1993
James Madison University Best Studio Artist Award 1989-1993

EDUCATION:

Bachelor of Fine Arts Cum Laude
Concentration in Graphic Design and Painting
James Madison University (Harrisonburg, VA) 1993