“Figuration Libre”

Robert Combas, painter and rocker

Paris, 10 October 2012. Art Media Agency (AMA). Robert Combas, a French contemporary painter, was born on 25 May 1957 in Lyon. He has lives and worked near Paris since 1980. The artist spent his childhood and youth in Sète, in the South of France, in a fervently communist family. From 1975 to 1979, he studied in the Montpellier Academy of Fine Arts. As soon as he first entered the “Beaux-Arts”, Combas brought innovative aesthetics. As he said himself: “I always wanted to do something entirely new, I always needed to be different from the others, I think I am a dandy.” While conceptual art dominates the French artistic production, he went counter-current, and chose to redefine the use of space, colour and figuration. With the basis principle “everything has been done already”, Combas appropriates the great clichés of art, and opens new possibilities in order to return to figuration. In 1977, Combas painted the Batailles (Battles) series, a relevant and still current subject, and went on with his variations on the figure of Mickey Mouse. He then created the “Arabic Pop Art”. This expression, that he himseld invented, name works that look like “underdeveloped countries” advertisements, marked with fake Arabic phrases. His aesthetics were at that time rather tough, and influenced with his young adult’s interests: television, rock, comics, sex,etc. The exhibition “5/5 Figuration libre France/USA”, organised in 1984 by the Paris Museum of Modern Art officially recognizes this movement, comparing it with the generation of New York graffiti artists (Jean-Michel Basquiat, Crash, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf). He is now among the best-selling French artists on the market: his work Le guerrier et le spirituel, for instance, was sold for €64,000 last July. The GZ Gallery in Paris will present, from 11 October to 30 November 2012, works realised...

Tags: , , , , ,

“Robert Combas, Greatest Hits” at MAC, Lyon

Lyon, 25 January 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA). Lyon’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC Lyon) will host a retrospective of the works of Robert Combas, entitled “Robert Combas, Greatest Hits” French artist Robert Combas (born in 1957) enjoys international recognition. In the 1980s, he became known for his new, figurative style of painting linked to the “Figuration Libre” movement. The committed artist’s work was inspired by society, people and music; put simply, it took inspiration and incorporated elements of immediately recognisable popular culture. Last summer, the museum launched a search for 15 of the painter’s best works in order to organise the retrospective, which is the first solo exhibition of the artist’s work on such a grand scale. The exhibition will bring together almost 300 works from both public and private collections in Europe, Asia and the United States. Furthermore, several works belonging to private foundations are to be unveiled to the public for the first time. Moreover, previously unseen works specially created by the artist for the exhibition are to be displayed too. The upper floors of the MAC Lyon will present the retrospective in a chronologically themed layout, with background music chosen by the artist from his personal collection. Towards the end of the exhibition, projections of the artist’s multimedia works , such as his “tableaux musicaux”, will be displayed. Combas plans to set up a functioning studio which is to form part of the exhibition, where he will create works, and also meet prominent members of the art world as well as members of the...

Tags: , , , ,