Duke Riley received his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from Pratt Institute. Riley is fascinated by maritime history and events around the waterways of New York City. Riley’s signature style interweaves historical and contemporary events with elements of fiction and myth to create allegorical histories. His re-imagined narratives comment on a range of issues from the cultural impact of over development and gentrification of waterfront communities to contradictions within political ideologies as well as commerce and the role of the artist in society and at war.
Riley has produced commissions for New York City’s Percent for Art program (2015) and MTA Arts for Transit (2010); participated in the 10th Havana Biennial (2015); Brazil’s Mercosul Biennial (2011); and held the First St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Havana as part of the Havana Biennial (2009). In 2012 Riley was selected by the U.S. State Department’s smARTpower project to be a cultural ambassador to China. Riley has completed residencies at The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo (2017); Creative Time's Global Residency Program for Eastern Africa (2013); Gasworks Residency in London (2012); and was a visiting artist at Ox-Bow (2012). In 2015 he received Pratt Institute’s Mid-Career Achievement Award and has been awarded grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2010-11) and the Joan Mitchell Foundation (2011).
2006 M.F.A. Sculpture, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
1995 B.F.A. Painting, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Fly By Night, 14-18 NOW, London, UK
Now Those Days Are Gone, Magnan Metz Pop Up Space, New York, NY
A Selection of from the Past Decade; Magnan Metz, New York, NY
Flights of Fancy, University of S. Florida Contemporary Arts Museum, Tampa, FL
Fly By Night, Presented by Creative Time and The Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn, NY
See You At The Finish Line, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY
Two Riparian Tales of Undoing, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY
An Invitation to Lubberland, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH
Reclaiming the Lost Kingdom of Laird, Philagrafika, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Those About To Die Salute You, Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY
First St. Patrick's Day Parade, Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba
After the Battle of Brooklyn, Magnan Projects, New York, NY
Duke Riley Presents Paul Pierce for Chanel, Six Feet Under Series, White Box, New York, NY
The Bright Passage: East River Incognita 1, Magnan Projects, New York, NY
United Islands of the East River: East River Incognita, Sarah Lawrence College, NY
Summer Exhibition: Recent Works, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
We Shall Make America Wonder, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY
Drawn Together Again, The Flag Art Foundation, New York, NY
Radical Seafaring, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NC
Rare Bird: John James Audubon & Contemporary Art, Philip & Muriel Berman Museum of Art, Collegeville, PA
Based on a True Story: Duke Riley & Frohawk Two Feathers, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
Crossing Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Ephemeral: Unraveling History, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
Body Electric, Ricco Maresca Gallery, New York, NY
From Maritime Heroes to World Art, Brandts Museum, Copenhagen, DK
The Voyage, or Three Years at Sea Part VI, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr University, Vancouver, CA
Party Headquarters: Art in the Age of Political Absurdity, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY
Worth Telling, Collaboration with Luc Sante, Clemente Soto Velez, New York, NY
To the Stars on the Wings of an Eel, Gowanus Ballroom, Brooklyn, NY
8th Mercosul Biennial, Porto Alegre, Brazil
Sea Worthy: An Exhibition, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY
Announcing Magnan Metz, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY
Bright Path, Little Berlin, Philadelphia, PA
Seaworthy, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Chelsea Visits Havana, Havana Biennial, Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba
Rent Control: NYC Documented and Imagined, The Maysles Institute, Harlem, NY
Maritime: Ships Pirates & Disasters, Contemporary Art Galleries, Storrs, CT
A Wrinkle in Time: Artist From the Registry, BRIC Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Democracy in America: The National Campaign, Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY
Building Steam, Grossman Gallery, Lafayette College, Easton, PA
Plastic Topography, South Street Sea port Museum, Melville Gallery, New York, NY
Volta 4- Voltany: Ultra Brag, Shown by Magnan Projects, Basel, Switzerland
Grow Your Own, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Emergency Room, P.S. 1 Center for Contemporary Art, Queens, NY
Mixed Signals, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NY
Ultimate Destination, D.u.m.b.o Arts Center Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Duke Riley Presents Paul Pierce For Chanel, Art (212), Contemporary Art Fair, New York, NY
The Bright Passage: East River Incognita 1, Pulse NY Contemporary Art Fair, New York, NY
Building, British Consulate, Belfast, Northern Ireland
A Knock At The Door, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY
Book, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY
We Could Have Invited Everyone, Andrew Krepps Gallery, New York, NY
Inaugural Opening, Magnan Projects, New York, NY
Benefit Show, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY
T&A IV, GV/AS Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Book, Weir Space, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Invitational Group Show, National Arts Club, New York, NY
Night Swimming, State of Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Of Earth and Sky, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY
Three-Person Exhibition, C. Francis Gallery, Providence, RI
Invitational Group Show, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA
GRANTS, SCHOLARSHIPS, COMMISSIONS
MacDowell Colony Fellowship, Peterborough, NH
Yaddo Residency, Saratoga Springs, NY
Village Voice Lifetime Achievement Award for Elevating the Prestige of Pigeons in the Public Consciousness, New York, NY
Art Garda Residency, Italy
Percent for Art Commission, PS 343 Manhattan, New York, NY
Pratt Institute, Mid-Career Achievement Award, Brooklyn, NY
Vermont Studio Center Residency, Johnson, VT
Creative Time Global Residency, Eastern Africa
Gasworks Residency, London, UK
Ox-Bow, Visiting Artist, Saugatuck, MI
'This Tree Which Men Cut Down', Wythe Hotel Drawing Commission, Brooklyn, NY
smARTpower, Shanghai, China
Joan Mitchell Foundation, Painters and Sculptors Grant, New York, NY
The Wassaic Project Residency, Wassaic, NY
Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, NY
MTA Arts For Transit Commission: Beach 98th Street Station Renovation, Art Matters Foundation, New York, NY
Residency, Fremantle Arts Center; Fremantle, Western Australia
Pratt Institute, Graduate academic Achievement Scholarship Circumnavigate, Artist Space, independent project grant
Lagenside Development Corporation Grant, Cathedral Arts Quarter, Annual Festival, Belfast, NI
Belfast Arts and Business Partners Foundation Grant, Northern Ireland
Selvin, Claire, "Andrew Edlin Gallery Now Represents Duke Riley," Artnews, November 27.
Lukowski, Andrzej, ‘Fly By Night’ review, Time Out, June 22.
Cascone, Sarah, "Artist Duke Riley Created 1,000 Painstaking Portraits of Everyone’s Least Favorite Bird,"Artnet News, October 20.
"Duke Riley: Fly By Night," The New Yorker, May 16.
Smith, Roberta. "Review: In ‘Fly by Night,’ Pigeons Light Up the Brooklyn Navy Yard," The New York Times, May 8.
"2,000 LED-tagged pigeons light night Artist's illuminated bird show delights Brooklyn crowd," Times Union, May 6.
Gill, Lauren, "Artist training thousands of pigeons to carry lights over Navy Yard for new show," Brooklyn Paper, February 15.
Akel, Joseph, "At the Havana Biennial, The Art Is Politics...And Vice Versa," Vanity Fair, June 9.
Cotter, Holland, "The Havana Biennial Is Running at Full Throttle," The New York Times, May 29.
Boucher, Brian, "See Hellbent Hooker Fundraise this Weekend for Duke Riley's Havana Biennial Ice-Skating Rink," Artnet News, May 7.
Cascone, Sarah, "Duke Riley, Olek, and FAILE Dream Up Glitter Explosions and Yarn Bombs at the Brooklyn Artists Ball," Artnet News, April 16.
Johnson, Ken, " 'Crossing Brooklyn,' Local Talent at Brooklyn Museum," The New York Times, October 2.
"Duke Riley, 'See You at the Finish Line'," Time Out, New York , January 3.
Meier, Allison, "Duke Riley’s Pigeon Army of Cuban Cigar Smugglers," Hyperallergic, December 17.
Baker, R.C., "Free Bird: Duke Riley Riles the Law," The Village Voice, November 20.
Swiderski, Luke, "Cigar-smuggling pigeons to touch down at New York gallery," Reuters, October 23.
Pavia, Will, "Daring Air Raid Turns Cigar Smuggling From Cuba into an Art Form," The London Times, October 19.
Ryzik, Melena, "Avian Artistry, With Smuggled Cigars," The New York Times, October 16.
Crow, Kelly, "A Creative New Frame Game," Wall Street Journal, March 8.
Farago, Jason, "Armory Show Aims to Raise the Bar Amid Threats From Younger Rivals," The Guardian, March 7.
Singer, Reid, "Before Word Can Spread, Party’s Over at a Brooklyn Speakeasy," The New York Times, January 28.
Saltz, Jerry, "Duke Riley’s Insane Triumph, a Live Roman Naval Battle in Queens," New York Magazine, August 18.
Nelson, Libby, "In Queens, a Battle on the Low Seas, and May the Best Artist Win," The New York Times, August 15.
"Art, Ahoy! Duke Riley’s Battle Boats," The Wall Street Journal, August 6.
Orbom, Jennifer, "Museum Staffers Gone Wild: Duke Riley’s 'Those About to Die Salute You',"NY Art Beat, August 21.
21C Museum Louisville
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
Pizzuti Collection at the Columbus Museum of Art
Whitney Museum of American Art