More than 100 of the most vibrant and provocative paintings of prolific French artist Robert Combas will be displayed in a thrilling exhibition in Monaco, which opens next week.
The collection of Robert Combas’ art will be showcased by Laurent Strouk at the Grimaldi Forum from August 7th until September 11th.
The paintings, handpicked from Combas’ oeuvres d’art from the 80s and 90s, are all based on themes close to his heart: love, women, war, religion, mythology, music and genre scenes.
Combas, who was born in Lyon in 1957, is regarded by many as one of the most important and prolific artists of today. He is also considered as one of the founding fathers of the artistic movement La Figuration Libre, a term coined by BEN in the beginning of the 80s.
His paintings address a multitude of topics, and with each work his imagination has been allowed to run wild, without any limits. It is often easier to describe his works of art using a plethora of adjectives than actually decipher what the painting is about. They are free, colourful, grotesque, funny, sensual, violent, historic, multi-faceted, energetic, and spontaneous; but they are also much more intelligent and conceptual than they appear at first glance.
Combas’ extraordinary talent was spotted in 1980 by the then director of Le Musée de Saint-Etienne, Bernard Ceysson, when he was studying for his National Diploma in Fine Arts in Saint-Etienne.
Since then Combas has had expositions in Holland, Germany, Italy and New York, where he was invited to display his paintings in a gallery belonging to Italian-American contemporary art dealer Leo Castelli in 1983 and 1986.
Combas also participated in two exhibitions, one in New York and the other in Paris, which challenged the work of the La Figuration Libre movement with the American artists Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf.
Speaking in the early 80s, Combas claimed: “Figuration Libre is about doing what we want, as much as we can, as personally and as freely as possible.” This spontaneous approach to painting has remained his way of life and of art, but in a career spanning 35 years, his work has grown and become more complex because Combas has never got to the point where he would like to stop.
Laurent Strouk has been a long-term admirer of Combas’ ‘explosive creations’ and he believes the up-and-coming exhibition in Monaco will be an “explosion of joy, of colours, of energy and vitality”.
Exhibition details, including opening hours, can be found at grimaldiforum.com