Pere de Ribot born in Girona in october 1962. His artistic vocation awakens at a very early age. Paintings and canvases are his constant companions in childhood, when he also begins his studies in music and piano. The keen observation of the arts, as well as the passion for creativity is transmitted by his father, and is part of his education. In his visits to his father’s architecture studio he is not only fascinated by the drawings but also by the various and curious drafting instruments and, at his father’s side, he would come to know and appreciate the studies of painters, sculptors and artisans.  AT this early stage we can also clearly see the influence that he received during the family travels through Europe, most certainly those to France and Italy, exploring the jewels of the Romanesque and renaissance. As a consequence of this, and the innate necessity of the artist to search and express himself, he begins his academic studies in the Faculty of fine arts.

Pere as a student is also extremely active. While still at university he is invited to exhibit his work at prestigious ARCO, the international contemporary art fair, in Madrid in 1986. This is a key moment for the artist, an opportunity; not only is his work recognized and appreciated, but also he decides to leave Barcelona and embark for a year in London. In the British capital he becomes acquainted with many artists and establishes contact with many galleries and dealers. The art market is experiencing a dramatic “boom”, the favourable economy has created a new class of collector and dealers become important intermediaries between artist and collectors.

Upon his return from London he has his work shown in Arco once again. His work still keeps a youthful impulse, yet acquires elements of maturity that attract the attention and interest of many European galleries attending in the search for new talents. It is a moment in which diverse opportunities surface for the artist, that finally culminates in his first individual exhibit in Madrid and in Paris. It also establishes his first contacts that will lead him in the future to develop a long and rewarding relationship with Germany, where he will exhibit frequently in Munich and Mainz. These are the beginnings of an intense activity that to date have resulted in more than one hundred exhibitions.

If this trip to London coincides with the public discovery of his work and leaves a lasting impression on the painter, the trip upon which he embarks in 1992 to Russia and the former Soviet Republics also presents a rich collection of experiences that will have a clear impact and reflection on the work of Pere de Ribot. The human landscape impressed him as much as the physical landscape and from these travels he maintains close friendships with Russian painters and artists to this day. At this time in his work we see the gradual disappearance of the overwhelming architectural elements, the spaces –at times relaxing, at times asphyxiating– evolve into surroundings of new objects, archaeological ruins through which one sees the stamp of the passing of time of man’s creation. This next stage brings the thematic introduction of shapes and forms of nature. He exhibits these works in Barcelona in 1991 which the UB Profesor, José Luis Arce, names “rizomatas”.

It is in Barcelona where Ribot works. Upon completion of his university studies he opens his first studio in a small garage in the Sarria neighbourhood. Quite close to this first studio/sanctuary, in a milieu that is quite and familiar to him, he opens a new studio in a larger space in which music and the spoken word are as predominant as the paintings. In this magical atmosphere of a grand old Barcelona maison occur long and memorable gatherings and recitals with fellow music “aficionados”, preparing for their mandatory appointments at the Gran Teatro del Liceo.

One cannot understand the evolution of an artist without knowing his space. This is particularly important in the case of Pere de Ribot, an artist so influenced by his surroundings. In this sense, his decision to install his studio in a shared workspace with 15 artists was of singular significance and enrichment. His new studio is at Piramidon, an art center located in the heart of Barcelona that promotes and supports artist from all over the world, and has become an important reference on Spanish contemporary art.

The move to the Piramidon coincides with two further initiatives that show his interest beyond that of the canvas. Firstly, the creation of Flamicell Art Contemporani together with Josep Spot and Neus Martínez with the aim of energizing the cultural and artistic panorama that surround them.  Flamicell organizes and promotes exhibits of young creators, concerts, theatre as well as gatherings between creators and thinkers. Secondly he receives the mandate to curate the contemporary art collection of the Universidad Internacional de Cataluña (UIC) in which he also develops and coordinates the conferences on Cultural Management. Further, in his capacity as professor, he imparts classes in the Masters Program in Cultural Institution Management.

We are now at the end of the 90’s, when he shows his painting in Paris, Brussels and Madrid, and continues his annual exhibits in Barcelona and Girona. But the decisive moment occurs in 1998 with his marriage to fellow-artist Emma Grau, with whom he shares a creative complicity. It is a special period. The arrival of children bring added light to the canvases of the artist, and at the same time the reincorporation of the human figure is most evident. He is painter, husband, companion and father. Now we witness the paintings conceived in the spacious landscape of the house in Baseia in Siurana d’Empordá, in the heart of this immense natural scenery cradled by the tramontana; a house that has been slowly restored and where the family spends longer periods and where finally they install a working studio to alternate with that of Barcelona.

These are the landscapes that we can contemplate in the Galeria Esther Montoriol in Barcelona, and in Madrid during the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Galeria Ángeles  Penche . Landscapes have become the true protagonist of his work and the artist’s brushstrokes and colours are intimately tied to real nature.

The universality of his artistic language has presented him a new challenge. He is currently in preparation for new travels, this time to Morocco, where he has received a commission to create a mural in the city of Asilah in celebration of their cultural festival.


Raquel Iriso
Journalist.