In 1951 Humberto Rivas (Buenos Aires, 1937 – Barcelona, 2009) began his studies in painting and drawing, and was introduced to photography shortly after. Starting 1962 he helmed the Department of Photography at the Insituto Trocuato Di Tella, a prestigious artistic research center in the Argentine capital. At that time he met the photographer Anatole Saderman, whom he considered his mentor.
Resulting from the coup in 1976 Rivas was forced to leave Argentina and move to Barcelona. His arrival was an important boost for the city’s photographic scene; for example, he participated in the launch of the first edition of the Primavera Fotogràfica a Barcelona in 1982. During his first years in Spain he continued to work as a portrait artist, taking photographs of figures such as Joan Miró, Josep Tarradellas, and Antoni Tàpies. In parallel, his work explored the urban landscape from aesthetic approaches centered on the passing of time.
In 2006 a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya in Barcelona. His photographs belong to national and international collections. In 1997 Humberto Rivas was the recipient of the Premio de Artes Plásticas Ciudad de Barcelona, and the following year the Premio Nacional de Fotografía, awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. In 2009 he was granted the Gold Medal for Artistic Merit by Barcelona City Hall.