ROBERT COMBAS (né en 1957)
Orchestre chamanique, 1999
Acrylic on canvas and carboard plate, signed lower right and dated lower part
82 43/64 x 98 27/64 in.
Robert Combas (Lyon, 1957) is a French artist whose painting has been described as “Figuration libre” by the artist Ben who invited him to exhibit in his gallery in Nice in 1981 during the exhibition “Finir en beauté” organized by the art critic Bernard Lamarche-Vadel. This designation reflects a rejection of “intellectual” art (particularly minimalist) and seeks to highlight a figurative and popular painting, inspired by comic books and rock culture. In fact, since the 1980s, the artist has developed a protean work that defies categorization.
After studying in Sète and at the School of Fine Arts in Montpellier, Robert Combas quickly gained notoriety, participating in various group exhibitions from 1980 onwards, before seeing his first solo exhibitions in Düsseldorf and Amsterdam. From the 1990s, he tackled themes of spirituality and esotericism, in an aesthetic that has often been compared to American graffiti artists and German neo-expressionists. His perpetual capacity for innovation translates into eminently satyrical works in which the grotesque has pride of place. The varied scenes that the artist paints using “curtains of paint”, upset the hierarchies and conventions of art history.