Jordi Ribes - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Monday, June 20, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "I love the ambiguity, the multiplicity of readings.. The paintings can transmit tension either through the characters, the landscape, the colours, or that which is absent."
    — Jordi Ribes

    The present work in the artist’s studio

    Image Courtesy of La Escocesa


    Born in Barcelona in 1972, Jordi Ribes’ narrative-focused paintings transport viewers into the world of childhood, a space rich in dreams, adventure, and mystery. Celebrated for blurring the lines between pictorial and digital expression, Ribes composes his works using oil paint, a medium characterised by its malleability. Curiously, however, his unconventional approach to the medium renders it almost artificially polished, as Ribes meticulously applies very thin layers of carefully mixed pigment to achieve an impeccable smoothness of gradients. When combined with his adoption of a fluorescent colour palette inspired by video games, fantasy films and fairy tales, the overall effect evokes the radiating glow of screens, activating a game of contrasts between the real and the fictitious, and the familiar and the unknown.

    “On the one hand, my work looks like an image from a computer, with a cold and neutral finish that apparently does not exploit the properties of oils, while, on the other hand, it is a painting that can only be done with the oil technique.”
    — Jordi Ribes


    Painted in 2010, in Amazing Stories, a lone female figure wades through a silvery body of water framed by tall, bamboo-like cylinders. With her back to the viewer, she approaches a red-orange object partially covered by candy-coloured patches that cascade down from the pointed top, skimming the water’s edge. Though ambiguous in from, the large structure is decorated with two, dark, window-shaped rectangles, which when considered in conjunction with the helmet the protagonist holds under her arm, alludes to ideas concerning extra-terrestrial travel and spacecrafts. Perhaps also influenced by Steven Spielberg’s 1985-1987 science fiction television series of the same name, Amazing Stories exemplifies Ribes’ ability to tap into both digital and analogue worlds to produce mystical compositions that drive the mind’s eye, leaving viewers to wander about the next chapter to unfold in this unfinished story.




    Still from Steven Spielberg, Amazing Stories (The Mission), 1985



    Represented by L21 Gallery, Ribes has been the subject of solo exhibitons at Galería Senda in Barcelona and L21 in Palma, as well as group exhibitions at places including Palais de Tokyo in Paris; Galería Lelong in Paris; Galería Oliva Arauna in Madrid; and Centre d'Art Tecla Sala in Barcelona. His work forms part of collections such as Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (Madrid); Fundación Altadis (Madrid); and Fundación Vila Casas (Barcelona).



    Jordi Ribes, Sport Bag, Collection of the Fundació Vila Casas in Barcelona


    • Provenance

      L21 Gallery, Palma
      Private Collection
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Amazing Stories

signed and dated 'Ribes 2010' on the reverse
oil on canvas
146 x 114 cm. (57 1/2 x 44 7/8 in.)
Painted in 2010, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist and issued by L21 Gallery.

Full Cataloguing

HK$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for HK$1,071,000

Contact Specialist

Danielle So
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2027
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 21 June 2022