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Vienna • Zürich • Beirut, Ribal Molaeb
An exhibition of paintings made between 2017 and 2020 in Austria, Switzerland and Lebanon.
"I grew up among colors and paintings; always fascinated by the idea of living with an artist, my father, Jamil Molaeb. Very often, I skipped school days to stay with him in his workshop.
At age six, I started studying classical music and trained as a violist.
At age seventeen, I moved to Salzburg, Austria to study at Mozarteum University, and then moved to Vienna to study at the University of Music and the Arts: Eight years of study before settling in Zürich, Switzerland.
I came back to painting like one goes back to their parents' house in the village, as if to restore one’s roots.
Our ancestors did not feel rest until they dug their hands in the soil, planted the ground and enjoyed production. I find this rest when I fill my hands in oil paint and produce a painting.
I travelled the world with music: to China, America and Europe. But it was only through painting that I could travel back to my roots.
I learned how to paint while thinking as a musician. My paintings are based on harmony. Just like in music, each work has a harmonic, melodic and rhythmical structure. I think of the relation between colors like I think of intonation in music.
Mountains. Water. Space. A warm childlike world. Clear, luminous fields. Mysterious metaphysical poems. I leave it to the viewer to feel what my work resonates with."
About the artist
Born in Baissour, Lebanon, in 1992, Ribal Molaeb moved to Austria at the age of 17, to study at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. He later moved to Vienna to study at the University for Music and Performing Arts, where he received his Master’s degree in Arts with distinction. Molaeb was assigned as the artistic director of “SUMITO’’ Art and Music Association in Switzerland. He is the president of the “Molaeb Art Museum” and the founder of “Molaeb Festival for Chamber Music and Fine Arts”.
His paintings have been exhibited in Amsterdam, Vienna, Beirut, and Zürich, where he currently lives and works.
He is represented by Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Beirut, and Galerie Agénor, Zürich.
About his work
Ribal Molaeb was personally trained by his father, Jamil Molaeb, starting at a very young age. He is inspired by many Lebanese 20th century abstract expressionists, like Saliba Douaihy, Aref el Rayes and Shafic Abboud. After moving to Switzerland he was influenced by the works of Paul Klee, who was an accomplished violinist himself.
Ribal Molaeb’s musical education in Vienna swayed his paintings. There is a musical orientation in the compositional, harmonic and melodic aspects of his works; He interrogates color power and harmony creating energetic paintings. His images have aspects of delicate distribution of colors and shapes.
Molaeb’s understanding of harmony in classical music contributed to his vision of abstract painting and compositions. He paints in order to create a personally satisfying world, cleanly designed, and delicately harmonized.