(born May 8, 1937) is an American photographer who came to prominence as part of the photographic movement known as New Topographics. He was a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow in photography in 1973 and 1980, and he received the MacArthur Foundation's MacArthur Fellowship in 1994. In 2009, he received the Hasselblad Award for his achievements in photography. He is represented by the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco and the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York.
a French painter and sculptor, born in 1957 in Sète in the south of France and now living and working in Paris.
He is widely recognized as a progenitor of the figuration libre movement that began in Paris around 1980 as a reaction to the art establishment in general and minimalism and conceptual art in particular.
Combas’ own work has always been strongly rooted in depictions of the human figure. The figures are often in wild, violent or orgiastic settings. Usually on large, often unstretched canvases, Combas crowds his flat pictorial space with a teeming proliferation of bodies, street poetry and designs reminiscent of the compulsive patterning in much folk and outsider art. He creates hectic narratives of war, crime, sex, celebration and transgression—in short, every phase that makes up the constant flux of modern life. In recent years a strong autobiographical strain has been evident in his work, which was present only on a subliminal level, if at all, in the earlier work..
While Combas’ works often seem to carry an element of shock or confrontation, he insists the images are meant to engage the viewer, and their execution in vibrant color and bold, unfettered line communicate a spirit of proletarian camaraderie that offsets the tendency to overwhelm, in the larger works especially.
In a biographical note on Robert Combas’ official website the artist asserts his aim is to
“provoke, that is, to trigger a reaction in the spectator only to ‘invite’ him, beckoning him in and whispering in his ear ‘come over and talk to me, I want to tell you about the stupidity, violence, beauty, love, hatred, seriousness and fun, the logic and senselessness that pervade our day-to-day lives’ ”.