Robert Combas

Biographical Data

Born in Lyon, in 1957. He works in the Parisian region. Robert Combas studies at the Beaux-Arts school in Sète (1974), later in Montpellier (1975-1980). His first individual exhibition takes place in 1980. He is one of the cofounders of the Figuration Libre movement: “a painting that doesn’t renounce to its primitive instincts and desire of culture”.

Brief Chronology

In the 80’s, Robert Combas paints “all-over”, until he saturates the canvas space using “paint jets” and he outlines in black figures that are full of color. Of his work he says: “Dadaism; Art Brut; Black Art; the “naïf” advertising painter’s art from Haiti, Jamaica, Africa, South Africa; Naïf Art, Art Pauvre, Rock and Roll, Rock culture, the art of the misfit (mongoloids), Picasso, Expressionism, Impressionism, comic; we mix them all together and the result is Combas, figurative because I live in the world of realities”. He works with every subject: battles and historic frescoes, legendary, biblical, erotic, political, everyday themes, etc. His “painting of stories” uses narrative structures and writing can enhance the exuberance of the image with long titles, “poems that are a complement to the canvas, a gift”. In the 90’s and in the early years of the 21st century he adds spillages, curtain-like drops that, in part, cover the figure; we can still find traces in his work of his interest in themes and words and he also creates photo-paintings he sets under shiny and sequined pieces of glass. From 2003 to 2005 he works on Chemin de croix with the artist Ladislas Kijno. In 2006 he begins working on the series Tatouages académiques he transforms and tattoos academic drawings he finds in flea markets and makes them more baroque. Combas also creates sculptures, in 2000 they become monumental.



Flying van Gogh n° 57/100, 2009, Painted resin, 108 x 41 x 5,5 cm / 42,5 x 16,1 x 2,1 in.