The art market confirms that Robert Combas is the most successful living French artist with Pierre Soulages.
During the last two years, the value of his works has multiplied by 5 , proof with the last Artcurial auction sale from December 4th 2019.
This sculpture "The Cannon Dancer" is one of the most interesting of his major works from the 90s where he touched on themes dear to him like: battles, war, religion, love, sex, women, mythology, music, genre scenes...
- "Le danseur au canon", The Cannon Dancer Painted polychrome resin sculpture. This is a limited édition signed Combas, dated 95 and numbered 4/8 on the base.
- Is it a carnival ? a character, a buffoon representing power by a cannon exhibited as a phallic object that symbolizes power.
"The moment when the official hierarchies collapse, where the powerful become ridiculous and the fools the only wise respected. The moment of inversions, negations, derision and extravagance.
Abel and Cain, Salome and Saint John the Baptist : whatever the time and the weapons, it is almost always the same story", said Combas.
Robert Combas love to Deforms when, allowing itself disproportions, exaggerations and deletions, it gives birth to creatures with noses, lips or feet disproportionately inflated or stretched, even monstrous and comic. In this case, Combas flirts with satire, farce, the grotesque.
Make love better than a war !
Robert COMBAS has been pursuing a unique approach since the 1980s. His eccentric and powerful representations of the world make this genius one of the emblematic figures of French contemporary art.
The artist's work is now the subject of numerous retrospectives and institutional exhibitions. The enthusiasm of collectors becomes more important with each new public sale and its rating climbs which confirms the sustainable nature of the art of Robert COMBAS.
He brought at the dawn of the 80s a new figurative painting. Present on the artistic scene since 1979 he is the creator of a movement that the artist Ben called the Free Figuration, movement comprising: Rémi Blanchard, Francois Boisrond, Robert Combas and Hervé Di Rosa.
The artists of the free figuration take, through their works, the "freedom" to make "appear" all forms of art without border of cultural genre and geographical origin, without hierarchy of values between high and low culture.
"My painting is rock". Thus sums up his work Robert Combas Lyonnais artist born in 1957. Crazy rock music truly founds its relationship to painting. His work, inspired by graffiti and comics, is at once casual and humorous, funny and sensual.
Having just graduated from the Beaux Arts of Montpellier, his work is recognized by the world of art. He then very quickly became the band leader of the Figuration Libre movement invented by Ben.
For the artist, Figuration libre "is to do as much as possible what you want most personally most freely".
And this freedom manifests itself in the variety of themes addressed is felt in every detail of his works. He paints real reality, but also reworks academic drawings. Then he turns out too wise subjects too decent.
Painting made of liberties she speaks about the society, the violence, the sexuality, the suffering of the people, their small happiness, their littleness, their greatness ... She is inspired by rock whose artist is an amateur end, popular images, childhood books, textbooks of all that makes a popular culture accessible to all.
These paintings are a color scheme of body face pattern shapes. It integrates medieval bas-reliefs of the plant-like characters with Arcimboldo scarifications. Each work is a world in itself. Each tells a story about everyday life ... stupidity violence love hate.
Combas is not prisoner of a form of painting his work is in perpetual evolution ... evolution which is the subject of a first major retrospective at the museum of contemporary art of Lyon.
"The search for the feeling, the feeling is the rhythm, it's the crazy drummer in the jungle and the voodoo dances, it's the Rolling Stones copying the old pieces of the blacks, the bluesmen, and unintentionally, creating new music, it's a little like that for painting, having the rhythm (feeling) of Chinese, Arabic and Mediterranean scriptures and paintings, my painting is rock. " Free figuration is a painting that does not deny its primitive instincts and a desire for culture. Like Jules Vernes, without leaving home, I went to Timbuktu. "Robert Combas
In 1982, the first solo exhibition of the artist took place in Paris and the same year he exhibited at the gallery in Amsterdam and in 1983 his first solo exhibition at the gallery Leo Castelli in New York.
Following numerous exhibitions, including his first major solo exhibition at the ARCA in Marseille in 1984, in 1985 the retrospective at the museum of the Sainte-Croix abbey of Sables-d'Olonne, later at the Gemeente Museum in Helmond Netherlands and in 1986 at the Museum of Art and Industry of Saint-Etienne. Also in 1985 took place the exhibition "5/5: Free Figuration, France - USA" at the Museum of Modern Art in the city of Paris. In 1986 in Vancouver. In 1987 the artist's personal exhibition at the CAPC - Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux, which will then be presented at the Stedlijk Museum in Amsterdam.
In 1990 there is an exhibition at the Beaubourg gallery and "The Trojan War", "Combas - Toulouse-Lautrec" at the Cultural Center of the Alibigeois and at the Toulouse-Lautrec Museum in Albi, at the Beaubourg Gallery and "The Saints" at the Yvon Lambert Gallery, "The Bad Reputation", paintings around Georges Brassens and "Aquestecop", paintings from 1977 to 1991 presented at the Paul Valéry Museum in Sète in 1992, "From the simple and the double" to the museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris in 1993, "Recent Paintings" at the French Institute of the United Kingdom, London and "The Italian Art" traveling exhibition in 1994, "Music and touti couinti", exhibition presented at the Coprim Foundation in Paris, "First Works", exhibition "Portuguese primitive paintings" at the 1991 Lisbon gallery in 1995, "Milk stain, tashi deleks", Chapel of the Jesuits of Chaumont, "The heroic fantasies of Robert Combas", Sérignan in 1996, "Diou mé damné Macarel, a retrospective", at the vil the Tamaris and "Coquin de Sort, ça continue", at Fort Napoleon in La Seyne-sur-Mer in 1997, exhibition "Combas" in Merate, Italy, "Between two wars", Historial of the Great War, Péronne, "au Museum of Eroticism, Paris in 1998, "Drawings of all periods", Center of the World, Nice, "Originibus pictuare: the origins of painting", Sarlat, "Tronches of clothes", Espace Cardin, Paris in 1999, "Marylin-Combas" exhibition organized simultaneously by the Charlotte Moser Gallery in Geneva, the Dewart Gallery in Brussels and the Rachlin-Lemarié gallery in Paris, "Maï Aqui", Paul Valéry Museum in Sète in 2000, "The hot years", convent of Cordeliers, museum of Châteauroux, "King Size", an exhibition on Elvis Presley
at MIAM, Sète in 2001, "En avant la musique", Benedictine Palace, Fécamp, "Mots d'oreille", organized by the Guy Pieters Gallery, Venice in 2005, "Academic Tattoos and the Venus of Venice", Fine Arts Kapopoulos, Athens, "Combas-Kijno Cross Works," Hélène Trintignan Gallery, Montpellier, "Retour aux sources", Hélène Trintignan Gallery, Montpellier, "Academic Tattoos", Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke-le-Zoute, "Savoir Faire" , retrospective exhibition, Seoul Museum of Art in 2006, "Savoir Faire", retrospective exhibition, Kyongnam Museum of Art in Korea, "Joker", exhibition at the Die Galerie, Frankfurt, then at the Modenarte Galleria, Modena, "Combas à Saint -Vincent ", Church of St. Vincent, Mérignac," Cinephage galore ", Art Center La Malmaison, Cannes," Expoésie ", poetry festival, museum of Périgueux in 2007, and more...
The conclusion is self-evident: in the last quarter of the twentieth century, Combas also took the risk of breaking with the theories and practices of the art of his contemporaries. It was certainly for him to open his eyes and force his contemporaries to open them after him. The best way in other words to restore the truth about today. The artists Like the french Robert Combas, the american Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring or the Ivorian Ouattara Watts popularize a free figuration.
The works Combas, Di Rosa, Basquiat or Keith Haring seem animated by a powerful and lively wave. The French artist Ben insists on the novelty of the current at the same time that it sets the main characteristics: "30% provocation anti-culture, 30% Free Figuration, 30% art brut, 10% madness. again "(Interview given to Jim Palette for the newspaper Libération, September 29, 1981).