Regarded as one of the most significant Conceptual artists in Catalonia, Àngels Ribé (Barcelona, 1943) initiated her production in the late sixties with actions, installations and performances centred round the body and space. From 1966 to 1969, Ribé lived in Paris where she studied Sociology and Ceramics and worked as an assistant to Piotr Kowalski. In 1972 she moved to Chicago and New York where she exhibited with artists such as Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Hans Haacke, Gordon Matta-Clark, Martha Wilson and Hanna Wilke, among others. In the eighties she returned to Barcelona where she began painting, followed in the nineties by sculptural works with neon and light, without ever forgetting the volumetric component that characterised her earlier actionism. Together with artists such as Eugènia Balcells, Eulàlia Grau, Sílvia Gubern, Fina Miralles and Olga Pijoan, Ribé’s artistic production was governed by the gender struggle of the seventies, a time when the creative work of women artists was still largely unnoticed. For a time she signed as A. Ribé to avoid any preconceptions on her gender identity. Ribé’s actions were based on her own body and on space as elements of research and experimentation. In many of them, Ribé registered natural phenomena, provoking a shock between nature and human actions. Subsequently, her work became interested in mental behaviour and the mechanisms of perception.
Àngels Ribé’s work has been exhibited in numerous centres and institutions. Among them, the Centre Artistique de Verderonne, Paris, 1969, where she produced the work Labyrinth; at 3 Mercer St. Gallery, New York, with Two Main Subjective Points on an Objective Trajectory, 1975, and at other alter alternative spaces in this city such as 112 Greene Street, with Work is the Effort against Resistance, 1976. At the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, I demà encara plourà, encara que els elefants tinguin por (perquè tenen els ulls petits), 1978, and Sculptures, 1983; at the C Space Gallery, New York, Ornamentation: the Unrelated Object, 1979; at the Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona, Àngels Ribé 1997, 1998; and at the Fundació Vila Casas, Barcelona, Àngels Ribé, 2003. She has participated in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1975; the Museu de Arte Contemporânea da Universidade da Sâo Paulo, 1977; the Centro Cultural de la Villa de Madrid, 1983; the Centre de Cultura Contemporània, Barcelona, 1994; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 1994 and 2005; MACBA, Barcelona, 1998, 1999 and 2005; the Salvador Dalí Museum, St Petersburg, Florida, 2005; the Museo Esteban Vicente, Segovia, 2006; and the Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 2007, among others. In 2011, MACBA organised the retrospective In the Labyrinth. Àngels Ribé 1969–1984.