The students

Refusing to be called "professor", Comby attached great importance to teaching. He let students free to express themselves about subjects they liked in painting, sculpture and drawing.

Comby intervened in techniques, proportions. He brought the example of ancient masters and showed the works of modern well-known artists. Students were entirely free to choose the shape, the colours, all things which were to remain in harmony with their inner "self".

So many difficulties for the artist to have his place in the sun. Passion, perseverance and desire to remain oneself keep from falling into ease and loss of independance.

A series of links to the websites of Comby's students report on the diversity of their personalities.

Many students have kept epistolary contacts with Comby. Relationships as equals which often changed into deep friendship.

In charge of courses
University  of Marseille à Luminy
 then University of d’Aix en Provence

Teacher at the school of Fine Arts 
 François Aubrun was the Director.

Georges Bru

Teacher in the fine arts school of Toulon

Comby was a very good educationalist and his appearance at the fine arts will have left a deep impression on many students. One must say that his charism made them listen to very attentively. His personality that brought him to have passion to anything related to injustice made to men and to denounce it had a favourable echo in them. This is the passion he also showed in his teaching, in the way he had to emphasize non academic practices, relating more to a personal commitment than to the mere acquisition of knowledges.

We had several exhibitions together. Comby and I thought that his sculptures and my drawings matched very well together. The only point that could contrast us is that he drew very well too... whereas I cannot sculpt !

bru la leçon de fouille


Roselyne ERUTTI

 Former student of the fine arts in Toulon

Text published in Mapra report - House of plastic arts Rhône Alpes in february 2005


In a letter he wrote to me : " I know alI I owe to students, either in the university or in the fine arts; they made me come out of my shell and show the human beeing in his own truth".

You suggested "tools" and "materials" to construct ourselves or sometimes to gather "pieces", different keys to allow us to make our own choices. You gave us the liberty of existing, and may be, the strength too. And..." the will to say everything, ambition".

Henry Comby leaves us a work of extreme strength, because entirely full of life. He speaks to us about the human beeing, between strengthes and weaknesses, his beauty and his monstrosities. He took all liberties, claimed them, always prioritizing the content, the deep sense, "searching a primitive content... without any self-censorship in artistic creation"

The man and the sculptor were appreciated by many. They all have a fraternal thought for him. As far as I am concerned Henry Comby will be present in my memory and will accompany me in my battles.                                                                                 

Carla van der Werf

Comby always encouraged me in my systematic researches on different and diversified materials, from the most ordinary to the noblest ones, from the most academic to the most contemporary.

He also showed me the importance of reading; of gathering documentation, of going and seeing elsewhere and not to settle in the confort of the know-how, skill, please-how. Above all he tought me not to go by criteria of the culture people who dictate contemporary art.
Carla van der Werfwere
Fleur - Solange Triger

Solange Triger

Toulon. Fine arts school. 1985-1987.

Professor of volume : Henry Comby.

Be on time, it's important.
Volume ? It's too complicated for me.

I was always on time. I had built "the door" of the artic circle I had just flown over. Impossible to find entrance or exit. I had invented a passage to go round in circles....Comby had found that funny. He was moved by our battles. He did not like fashion and being in the thing. We knew he was sincere and he did not judge us. He showed us the road of necessity, desire and will. Today, we still have the strength he gave us.

Alain Le Boucher

Mr Comby's first course

The prefabricated building temporarily accommodates the workshop of the new  subject, "plastic arts" in Aix university. In the middle, large tables are gathered, not smeared yet, with paint or glue.

A huge sheet - several meters - is unfolded. Strange...
Nothing to do with "arts"- even "plastic" - in this detailed coloured pencil drawing. It's the exploded view of the engine of Concorde. An inextricable network of pipes, pins, blades where everything is carefully sketched. Just like in a medecine engraving, this bringing to light of mechanical bowels arouses uneasiness.

Comby laughs as he sees our reactions : " Do whatever you want to do but, do it. Do it wholeheartedly. The drawing of volume can go as far as that. It can also go somewhere else.

That day, I decided to go there.
moteur du Concordea
Camille schmitt

Camille Schmitt.


 "...It's been more than ten years since you tought me the laws of volumes and developed my imagination... Looking back, I really do feel I received the necessary elements to build up my artistic personality.

 Alain Pontarelli

The relationship we have woven did not start from a teacher/student term but rather from a "master to novice" one. He was really the master, I was inevitably the novice. But it's not what this relationship has ever been. It was based on an equal footing of mutual respect, shared generosity, kindness and simplicity.

In fact what men often or sometimes lack : a touch of humanity. Art allowed this : a simple but strong and unforgettable relationship.

La Seyne-sur-mer june 30th 2006

Alain François

A young artist Comby met in Luberon

Comby, your name flaps like a whip croussing your bronzes. Today, still, I can remember. It was a burning summer in 67, in the grown shadow of the Luberon, "les Centaures galery". The blue lavenders surrounded your triumphal arch of white limestone watching your gilded brass works, standing in a bouquet, like a goldsmith's work and already bearing the scream of your coming sculptures. Like a  precise surveyor or geometer your presence and your stare filled me up with your warmth and that demand

Alain François

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