Galerie Vieceli > Artistes > COMBAS Robert


la biographie

Robert Combas is a French painter, sculptor and illustrator born in 1957 in Lyon. 


Passionate about music, he participated in the birth of the ‘free figuration’ movement in the 1980s.


Considered one of the most important French artists of his generation, he has been included for several years in the Artprice ranking of the 500 most popular artists in the world. 


As a child, his family moved to Sète. When he left school, he went to study at the School of Fine Arts in Montpellier. 


It was at this time that he defined his artistic style in contrast to conceptual art, which was the predominant art movement at the time. The idea of focusing solely on ideas did not appeal to the artist, who instead enjoyed drawing shapes and outlines. 


He didn’t associate himself with any artistic movement at the time and advocated creative freedom. 

He began a series of paintings, ‘Battailes’ (Battles), then examined underdeveloped countries with irony and sarcasm, creating the ‘Arab Pop Art’ movement. His style was very brutal. 

At the beginning of the 1980s, an artistic paradigm shift was on the horizon: free figuration was born.


Paintings in this movement inspire happiness and laughter, joy and good humour. The movement contrasts sharply with the serious and austere art of the 1970s and is instead devoid of any negative sentiment.


Pessimism, nostalgia for the past, fear of the present, anxiety about the future… These emotional states are prohibited in free figuration!


These artists were part of a new generation at ease with its time, tired of feeling guilty about a bygone era. They attempted to capture these feelings in their paintings. With the rise of graffiti in the United States, the development of street art and the arrival of rock music, a new world appeared, hungry for popular culture and freedom. Themes such as sexuality, love, comics, music were approached with simplicity and spontaneity.


In 1987, Robert Combas fell in love with Geneviève. She quickly became his muse. In 2010, the artist had the privilege of entering the Lacan collection, thanks to a remarkable series of prints.