Juan Ripolles’ paintings and sculptures have been exhibited at major art galleries worldwide. His mega sculptures have become signature features in many public plazas and parks in numerous cities such as the Retiro Park in Madrid, the Canals of Venice and the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia amongst many others.
Ripolles was the first Spanish artist invited to exhibit solo in museums around China. Entitled “Universe Ripolles” the exhibition opened in 2012 at the Beijing World Art Museum and then travelled to museums in Jinan, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Nanjing, Shanghai and Hangzhou. The exhibition featured 86 of Juan Ripolles' artworks in total which were made from a variety of materials like metal, paper, cloth and glass, including engravings, oil paintings and sculptures that showcased the artist's versatility. This exhibition was also part of the cultural program offered by the Embassy of Spain in China commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and the People's Republic.
In 2007 a world accolade was given to Ripolles enabling him to exhibit his sculptures in Venice, this was only the second time in the history of The Local Government of Italy to allow an artist who was not a local citizen to exhibit an outdoor exhibition. Ripolles’ work can also be seen in the private collections of Klaus and Hilde Schwab, founder of the Word Economic Forum, and Hollywood actor Michael Douglas as well as museums and institutions across Europe, United States, Mexico, Japan, Singapore, Uruguay and the Dominican Republic.
Juan Ripolles was born in Valencia, Spain in 1932. He attended the School of Industrial Arts and Crafts F. Ribalta in Spain before settling in Paris from 1954 to 1963. His works were exhibited at the prestigious Drouand Gallery in Paris which established Juan Ripolles as an important artist. His paintings were then also exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona. From 1969 to 1971, he held major exhibitions in the United States. Finally, in 1972, he settled back in Spain.
Ripolles’ artistic style cannot avoid being compared to and influenced by one of the giants of 20th century art - Picasso. Although Ripolles admits his admiration for artists such as Picasso, Goya, and Velazquez, he delivers his own dreamy and ironic way to characterize the figures in his works, which often focus on nature and people. Ripolles was initially closer to painting, creating highly imaginative and very successful works; next he made original engravings, developing new techniques. Finally he discovered the world of sculpture and consequently that of glass. At present, his artworks comprise paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and engravings or grabados ranging from the sublime to flamboyant that creatively incorporate colours and shapes that make his work distinct and recognizable at first glance. Ripolles simultaneously develops volume, size, proportion, sense of touch, resistance and light in his works. He offers a recreational world based on humour and irony and his work presents a wide range of nuances, suggestions, atmospheres, built over interlaced line dualities, over chromatics, ranging from serious to loud, from soft to happy.
The bronze sculptures by Ripolles, in particular, convey his unmistakable signature of communicating fun and joy. The sculptures are works made with the heart, and all of them seek to amuse and not get lost in vain intellectualisms. The artist often emphasizes his figures’ enormous heads set on miniscule bodies, underscoring the four senses that reside in the head: hearing, smell, taste and sight. He views the head as the centre of the human being; with the heart completing the poem.
The various artworks of Ripolles are the product of the master’s imagination; they reflect Picasso’s instinct and the linear grace of Matisse, preserving their originality with a personal interpretation that results in a free expression.
Galerie Belvedere represents Juan Ripolles, exhibits several of his paintings and sculptures, and undertakes commissions for large sculptures.