Pere de Ribot, born in Girona in 1962 with an artistic vocation that awakens at a very early age. Paintings and canvases are his constant companions throughout 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 becomes 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. 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 influences received during the family travels, particularly those to France and Italy, exploring the jewels of the Romanesque and Renaissance. As a consequence of this exposure and with 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 favorable economy has created a new class of collectors, therefore dealers become important intermediaries between artist and collectors. Upon his return from London his artwork is, once again, exhibited at ARCO. His work remains with a youthful impulse, yet acquires elements of maturity that attract the attention and interest of many European galleries searching new talents. It is a moment in which diverse opportunities surface for the artist, that finally culminates with his first solo exhibit in Madrid and in Paris. He establishes his first contacts that will lead him to develop a long and rewarding relationship with Germany, where Pere will exhibit frequently in Munich and Mainz.

These are the beginnings of an intense activity that to date have resulted in over two 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 Pere de Ribot’s work. 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, we see the gradual disappearance of the overwhelming architectural elements, the spaces –at times relaxing, at times asphyxiating–. They evolve into surroundings of new objects, archaeological ruins through which one sees the passing of time through the human footprint.

This next stage brings a new theme, the introduction of shapes and forms in nature. He exhibits these works in Barcelona in 1991, José Luis Arce, Professor at the Universidad de Barcelona, names them “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. Not long after, he opens a new studio in close proximity to this first studio/sanctuary, in a milieu that is quite and familiar to him. The space is larger, 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 artistic gatherings and recitals. One cannot understand the evolution of an artist without knowing his atmosphere or environment. This is particularly important in the case of Pere de Ribot, an artist so influenced by his surroundings. Pere opens his studio at Piramidon, an art center located in the heart of Barcelona that promotes and supports 15 artists from all over the world, it has become an important reference for Spanish contemporary art. This move 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 artists, 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 teaches 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, he 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 open a working studio to alternate with that of Barcelona.

The landscape has become the protagonist of his work, where brush stroke and colour are as imbued with examples from nature as the subject portrayed. The universality of his language and the solidity of his grammar represent an exciting new challenge for the artist. The journey to Morocco, where he participated in the Asilah Cultural Festival, made a deep impression on him, with its landscapes and culture. Once again, the artist was most impressed by the people.

After Morocco, he traveled to the Americas. In the year 2009 he visits fot the first time the Dominican Republic and participates in the Santa Fe, New Mexico Art Fair, where he was warmly received by the public. This same Dominican gallery will present his work at the next Arteamericas Fair in Miami and in Pinta Art Fair in New York. Returning to the Dominican Republic frequently allow him to distance himself from familiar spaces and landscapes, thus after a period of searching, the result is enlightening. The commissioning of a large artwork for the Hemingway Club forces him to spend extended periods of time on the island. This period in an inspiring environment immerses him in an emotional and sensory experience that brings a different vision. He sees through the same eyes a new perspective. This is now what we contemplate in the canvases at the Angeles Penche Art Gallery in Madrid and in February we will contemplate in the Esther Montoriol Gallery in Barcelona.

Raquel Iriso.