The MAC in Lyon France to Show a Robert Combas Retrospective

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artwork: Robert Combas - "Sophie allongée et anthropomorphiée", 1997 - Acrylic on canvas - 125 x 165 cm. - Collection Sophie Reynaud, Paris. © Adagp, Paris, 2011. On view at MAC Lyon in "Robert Combas: Greatest Hits" from February 24th until July 15th.


Lyon, France.- The Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon (MAC Lyon) is proud to present “Robert Combas: Greatest Hits”, on view at the museum from February 24th through July 15th. The first large retrospective dedicated to the work of Robert Combas, who declares his painting to be “rock music”, the exhibition will be accompanied by a soundtrack taken from the artist’s extensive music collection and by exclusive live performances, showcases over 200 works from the 1970s to the present day. The exhibition extends over a 3,000 square metre space. Robert Combas will be present daily in a specially installed workshop and recording studio where he will paint and create eclectic video clips.

“Greatest Hits” gathers together works chosen from public and private collections throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. The exhibition follows a chronological and thematic route, to the strains of the music that has forever accompanied the work of the artist. On the third floor, a scene is built for the exhibition, in which Combas’ musical creations are presented on a regular basis. The artist, accompanied by musicians, will regularly perform live throughout the duration of this exhibition. Furthermore, Robert Combas will continue to create works in a specially designed studio space where he will welcome art professionals, friends and the general public. A leading figure of a movement that has been termed entitled “Figuration libre” (including such artists such as Rémi Blanchard, François Boisrond, Hervé and Richard Di Rosa), Robert Combas has been creating art since the end of the 1970s. This exhibition, combining rock music and contemporary art, covers all aspects of a rich and abundant body of work: painting of course, as well as sculpture, drawing, and other artistic practices that Combas himself refers to as “satellites”, where the artist transforms images by other artists and which develop alongside the “trademark Combas style”. Various iconic themes will be illustrated by works dating from the 1970s to the present day, such as women, religion, love, death, war, southern roots… and music.

artwork: Robert Combas - "Greatest Hits du Monde Combas", 1986 - 214 x 213 cm. Courtesy the artist. At MAC Lyon from February 24th until July 15th.

The exhibition allows the viewer to appreciate the fusion that he draws from the diversity of his media, techniques, formats and themes and his consistent approach in terms of constant experimentation. Although Robert Combas is known for his painting, his music however, is less well-known. In Lyon, a special “cabaret space” will be created where the artist’s musical shows and videos will be revealed for the first time. For Combas, music is not confined to being merely the subject of his paintings. Founder of rock group Les Démodés at the end of the 70s, the artist has never strayed very far from music; he has continued to play music and more so these past two years, collaborating with Lucas Mancione. Both have established a varied repertoire which they perform on surprising video clips. In the paintings, we will see key figures from the history of rock and other colourful figures such as the Velvet Underground, Georges Brassens and South American cheerleaders and conga players.

artwork: Robert Combas - "La fanfare du ragelade", 1985 - Acrylic on canvas - 166 x 215 cm. - Collection of Fondation Cartier, Paris. - © Robert Combas. -  At MAC Lyon in from February 24th until July 15th.

Situated within Lyon’s Cité Internationale, by the banks of the Rhone and near the park Tete d’Or, the Musée d’Art Contemporain is at the heart of a scenic and pleasant area. In 1984, when the museum was located within the Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon, a particular interest in the production of art works began. These works, new projects for the artist or a continuation of an earlier concept, were produced in the museum, for the museum, in direct collaboration with the artist and became a part of the museum’s collection. This gave an opportunity to artists to experiment with form, idea and dimension, and to create work in harmony with the space itself. Contemporary art museums collect works created by living artists. Consequently, they are largely focused on current artistic practices, but without ignoring historic trends that have led to those of today. When the museum was established in 1984, it set itself the objective of completing the contemporary art collection that the Musée des Beaux Arts lacked. To achieve this, it developed a policy of producing new works of art in parallel with an exhibition programme of current trends and practices. In this way, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon is unique in its maintenance of the relationship between collection and exhibition. This relationship has been strengthened thanks to productions, acquisitions, donations and deposits of art works. Today, the collection boasts 1,100 works of art and has an exhibition space of 35,000 m2. Visit the museum’s website at … http://www.mac-lyon.com