Àngels Ribé (Barcelona, 1943) is part of a generation of artists who embarked on their careers in the late sixties, in the midst of profound political and social changes that had a direct impact on the way artistic practice is conceived.
Shedding the status of autonomous aesthetic entity that it had laid claim to during modernity, the work of art opened up to a process of dematerialisation and socialisation that brought about new relationships with the spectator, the art institution and the market.
In 1967, stifled by the oppressive atmosphere of Barcelona, Àngels Ribé left for France to study sociology. Settling in Paris, she participated in the May 1968 movements and soon began working in the studio of the sculptor Piotr Kowalski. By this time, she had discovered her artistic vocation.
In 1969, she publicly presented her first installation, 'Laberint': a circular labyrinth made of transparent yellow plastic that turned the exhibition space into a flowing stage of paths improvised by the spectators.
In the seventies, Ribé moved to the United States (Chicago and New York) and came into contact with a series of alternative art spaces that reflected the emerging art scene. It was then that she consolidated the basic elements of the artistic grammar which had started to take shape in her Parisian period, and that her de-emphasising of the object became apparent.
Ribé created ephemeral installations and performances, which she documented poetically through photography. Her body was the nexus of extremely medited actions, in which natural processes and elements played a key role. Ribé essentially engages with nature through two paths: one more immediate and sensorial, linked to physical expressions –'Intersecció de llum', 'Intersecció de pluja', 'Intersecció d'onada', all from 1969 –, and another more abstract path in which geometry is the organising principle. Here, the artist uses the triangle as the basic underlying shape in relation to her own body, as can be seen in the works from the series '3 punts' (created between 1970 and 1973) and in 'Invisible Geometry 3' (1973).
In the eighties, Ribé returned to Spain and revived her interest in the objectual nature of the artwork and its sculptural embodiment. She began working with iron and –from 2000 on– with neon lights – which re-connected her to the incorporeal nature of light and space –, and at the same time produced an extensive body of graphic work.