Duke Riley

(b.) Boston, Massachusetts 


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.  



2006 MFA Sculpture, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
1995 BFA Painting, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

Solo Exhibitions
2013 See You at the Finish Line, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY


2012 The Rematch, Zhujiajiao, Shanghai


2011 Two Riparian Tales of Undoing, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY


2010 An Invitation to Lubberland, Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art, Ohio
Reclaiming the Lost Kingdom of Laird, as part of Philagrafika 2010, Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Second St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Havana, Cuba


2009 Those About to Die Salute You, Queens Museum of Art, NY
First St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Havana, Cuba


2007 After the Battle of Brooklyn: East River Incognita 2, Magnan Projects, New York, NY


2006 Duke Riley Presents Paul Pierce for Chanel, Six Feet Under Series, White Box, New York, NY


2005 United Islands of the East River: East River Incognita, Sarah Lawrence College, NY


2001 Duke Riley, Climate 8, New York, NY

Group Exhibitions
2014 Crossing Brooklyn: Art from Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, and Beyond, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Based on a True Story: Duke Riley and Frohawk Two Feathers, CAC Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
Magnan Metz Group Exhibition: Destination Unknown, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY
Tattoo: From Maritime Hero to World Art, Brandts Gallery, Denmark


2013 Battle Ground, Proteus Gowanus, Brooklyn, NY


2012 Party Headquarters: Art in the Age of Political Absurdity, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York, NY
To The Stars On The Wings Of An Eel, Gowanus Ballroom, Brooklyn, NY
Worth Telling, Clemente Soto Velez, Cultural and Educational Center, New York, NY


2011 Sea Worthy: Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY
Bienal do Mercosul, Port Alegre, Brazil


2010 Announcing Magnan Metz, Magnan Metz Gallery, New York, NY


2009 Bright Path, Little Berlin, Philadelphia, PA
Seaworthy, Corridor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Rent Control: NYC Documented and Imagined, The Maysles Institute, Harlem, NY
Chelsea Visits Havana: Havana Biennial, Museo de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba


2008 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, Creative Time, Park Avenue Armory, New York, NY
Building Steam, Grossman Gallery, Lafayette College, Easton, PA
Plastic Topography, South Street Seaport Museum, Melville Gallery, New York, NY


2007 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


2006 Ultimate Destination, D.U.M.B.O. Arts Center Gallery, Brooklyn, NY


2005 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


2004 Benefit Show, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY
T&A IV, GV/AS Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Book, Weir Space, Belfast, Northern Ireland


2002 Invitational Group Show, National Arts Club, New York, NY


2001 Night Swimming, State of Art Gallery, Brooklyn, NY


2000 Of Earth and Sky, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY


1999 Three-Person Exhibition, C. Francis Gallery, Providence, RI


1996     Invitational Group Show, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA


Awards, Grants, and Scholarships

2013 The Percent for Art Commission, PS 343 Manhattan, NY


2012 Creative Time Global Residency, Africa
Gasworks International Residency Programme, London


2011 Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York, NY
smARTpower, U.S. State Department, Shanghai, China
Residency, The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY
Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, Painters and Sculptors, New York, NY


2010 MTA Arts for Transit ArtCard, New York, NY
AICA Award, 2nd Place Best Project in a Public Space: “Duke Riley: Those About to Die Salute You”


2009 Art Matters Foundation, New York, NY


2008 MTA Arts For Transit Commission: Beach 98th Street Station Renovation, 2011 Completion
Chashama Residency, New York, NY


2007 Residency, Fremantle Arts Center, Fremantle, Western Australia


2005 Graduate Academic Achievement Scholarship, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
Circumnavigate, Independent Project Grant, Artists Space, New York, NY


2004 Lagenside Development Corporation Grant, Cathedral Arts Quarter, Annual Festival,
Belfast, Northern Ireland


2003 Belfast Arts and Business Partners Foundation Grant, Northern Ireland



‘Crossing Brooklyn,’ Local Talent at Brooklyn Museum By Ken Johnson
October 2, 2014
Free Bird: Duke Riley Riles the Law
Avian Artistry, With Smuggled Cigars
Duke Riley Giving Away Prints at the Armory Show, But You Gotta Make Them Yourself
Maritime Mischief
Duke Riley's Insane Triumph
The Battle for Queens
An Artist and His Sub Surrender in Brooklyn