Robert COMBAS

Robert Combas is a French figurative artist, born in Lyon in 1957. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-arts in Montpellier. He has been living and working in Paris since 1981.

He achieved prominence on the international stage at the beginning of the 1980s as the leader of the Figuration Libre movement— a movement associated to Neo-Expressionism in the United States and a counter to Conceptual and Minimalist Art. Inspired by comic strips and graffiti culture, his style and creations are unashamed and humorous, as well as violent and sensual. 

In 1983, Combas held his first solo exhibition overseas, in New York at the Leo Castelli gallery. He took part in two major events which compared the work of the French Figuration Libre artists — Rémi Blanchard, François Boisrond, Richard Di Rosa and Louis Jammes — to those of the American graffiti artists — Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat, Crash and Kenny Scharf: ‘1982 Statements New York 82: Leading contemporary artists from France’ at New York’s Holly Solomon gallery and ‘5/5 Figuration Libre, France / USA’, which was held at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1984. Since then, his work has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, both in France and abroad: ARCA in Marseille (1984), CAPC in Bordeaux, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (1987), Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan (1990), Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris (1993), Musée Paul-Valéry in Sète (2000), Seoul Museum of Art, in Seoul (2006), Fondation Mudima in Milan (2009), MAC in Lyon (2012), and Grimaldi Forum in Monaco (2016).