press release

A labyrinth, ten metres in diameter, whose transparent yellow plastic walls permit veiled vision of the same, and which visitors can walk around. This piece, which will open Àngels Ribé’s exhibition at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, a reconstruction of the work that the artist presented in 1969 at Verderonne Castle in France. It also forms the gateway to Ribé’s artistic trajectory between the late-1960s and the mid-80s. Indeed, this exhibition forms part of the Museum’s initiative to recover aspects of important artists in our country, focusing on works that are little known but nevertheless play an important role, both in the careers of the artists themselves and in the development of Catalan contemporary art. In Ribé’s case, the period selected by MACBA is particularly significant, as it corresponds to the beginning of her artistic activity and her consolidation of a personal language that, using different supports and materials, she has continued to develop until the present.

It was precisely in 1969 that Ribé moved to Paris, and it was in the French capital that her interest in art, in form and volume and intervention in the public space, began to develop. She installed a sculpture in a park, inviting children to participate and handle the work, making passers-by a part of the Labyrinth. Her interest soon started to centre on actions that included elements and materials in nature, work on space, the presence of her own body and that of the spectator as narrative elements and the use of geometric forms as a fundamental part of her discourse.

In the 1970s, she moved to the United States, firstly to Chicago and later to New York, where she lived for several years. In both cities, she frequented galleries and venues that had emerged to propose alternatives to more conventional institutional policies, and which encouraged more innovative artistic activity. Here, Ribé’s work was based on exploration of the space as environment, as journey or as medium, the use of such unconventional materials as foam, water, light and shade and her interest in the chance meeting of ephemeral elements and the narrative potentialities of the environment itself. At the same time, she was active in the field of performance and installation, which enabled her to enrich her use of nuance and to explore the intervention of the subconscious and subjectivity in perception. She also began to incorporate singular aspects and to analyse the contradictions in terms of information, as well as aspects relating to her status as a woman and her personal experience. The exhibition also includes sculptures and a selection of drawings from early-1980s, seen here for the first time.

In the labyrinth
Angels Ribe, 1969-84
Kuratorin: Teresa Grandas