At the École des Arts appliqués he trained in the studio of Serge Mouille before continues his studies at the environmental research teaching unit of the Beaux Arts.

Graduating in social metrology and practicing the hummingbird theory, he extracted almost eight kilograms of crude oil from the 1,500 tons spilled by the Gironde on the Brittany cost. The quality of his performance as the bear in the puppet theatre of the empty swimming pool in Parma led to his appointment as a gorilla-binder in Sheepplugs and then as a fire operator in the Space Art group. As chief architect of works undertaken at the French Ministry of Overseas Departments and Territories, he made a radical contribution to the site, both architecturally and in terms of the organisation of the renovation works.

Armand Gatti’s The Passion of General Franco was a bombshell, Dante and Buenaventura were to change the course of his life. He abandoned the role of the naked dancer in Paradise Now to perform as the helmeted liquidator in an abandoned dairy in the village of La Hague in Normandy.
With the help of his teacher Mademoiselle Vaucheret, who instilled a passion in him for keyboard instruments, he crushed his first piano in the Parisian workshops of the Fondations de l’ordinaire. It was thanks to Didascalies that he was finally able to gain access to powerful X-ray devices, under whose beam Degas’ dancer finally revealed the secret of her incomprehensible imbalance.
He is currently studying a project to re-member the Tuileries gardens and wishes to launch a subscription to give a decent burial to Liberty Enlightening the World.
For the last fifteen years, he has dedicated himself to sculpture. He works with wood, ivory, marble, cast iron, bronze, paper and iron.


Gilles T. Lacombe is very discreet about his middle name: Tairébentyne. This name was chosen by his mother, who went into labour at an exhibition opening and unexpectedly gave birth in the ambulance rushing her to the hospital where her child was supposed to let out his first cries.

We will not dwell here on every single profession at which the young Gilles tried his hand during his formative years, instead let us return to him as a fully grown adult when finally, in dilettantish manner, he dedicated himself to his work as a 3D visual artist. Far from being traumatised by the fact he was named after a euphonious oleoresin, whose very essence evokes painting, Gilles now devoted all his energy to sculpture, building bridges between epochs and materials.
Listing or explaining each of his works would be a most rewarding although gruelling undertaking. So let us just take one example here: Please Don’t Touch. To write about the genesis of this monumental piece, 5.50 meters in length, is already to dip one’s pen into the artist’s lush biography. When first displayed, the tusks made headlines both for their realism as for the unverifiable rumours spread in some quarters of the press more inclined to sensationalising than to respecting privacy, with the sole purpose of stirring up scandal. The truth, as we shall show here, is far more prosaic.

Given the very restrictive laws governing the ivory trade, Gilles smuggled these exceptional tusks back from Ethiopia in the form of pianos, right from under the traffickers’ noses. They were taken from an elephant killed during a memorable hunt in 1927, in the company of the future Neguse Negest. All the pianos made it back, save for one, which was dumped into the Nile as a distraction during a crocodile attack. This loss was compensated by a Bösendorfer acquired from Gustav Heinrich Ernst Martin Wilhelm Furtwängler (an anecdote that was impossible to verify as the conductor has unfortunately passed away). The artist began methodically dismantling the pianos to recover the ivory keys and produce a reconstruction of the historic tusks that is strikingly similar to the originals.


Born in Paris on 23 December 1949.
Lives and works in Montreuil.
Gilles T. Lacombe is a visual artist, filmmaker, scenographer and sculptor.
He studied at the École des Arts appliqués in Paris until 1969 in the metal workshop of Serge Mouille.

Between 1972 and 1975, he assisted the sculptors Pierre Brun and Hans Karlewski.
He taught at Vincennes University between 1971 and 1973 (didactic objects and coloured vision) and then scenography at the École spéciale d’Architecture in Paris between 1983 and 1985.

Between 1973 and 1978, Gilles T. Lacombe designed and modelled fairings for the grand prix motorbikes of the PLT team (1973-1974), illustrated record sleeves (RCA, Capitol, Saravah), and designed graphic sequences for Philippe Starck and for JM Place publishers (1973-1977).

He drew and designed sets for theatre and opera in France, Germany and Romania, in particular for Armand Gatti (1977-2012), Giorgio Pauen (1980-2003) and Evelyne Didi (1997-2000).

In 1975, he created Les Productions de l’Ordinaire, which went on to design and build exhibitions for the Pompidou Centre, the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, and many other cultural venues.

Between 1980 and 1990, Gilles T. Lacombe made three short films, including Beau Fixe sur Cormeilles, part of the official selection of the 1989 Cannes Film Festival, and a feature film Belle journée en perspective.
For the last 20 years, Gilles T. Lacombe has primarily dedicated himself to sculpting, working with wood, marble, cast iron, bronze, paper and iron.

Group exhibitions:

1994 Les Fondations de l’Ordinaire, Paris
1998 Galerie Marion Meyer, Paris
1998 Cité de la musique, Paris
2000 Centre national d’art et de culture Georges-Pompidou, as part of the Le Temps vite ! exhibition
2001 Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, MACBA
2003 Pallazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome
2005 Centre national d’art et de culture Georges-Pompidou, Paris. Performance as part of the Dionysiac exhibition
2012 Exhibition at the Charlottenborg Foundation, Copenhagen
2012 The Spring Exhibition, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark. (Nominated)
2012 NordArt 2012 Budeldorf, Germany. (First prize)
2012 Le Générateur, Gentilly, performance with Manon Harrois
2013 NordArt 2013, Büdelsdorf, Germany
2014 NordArt 2014, Büdelsdorf, Germany
2014 Le 116, Centre for Contemporary Art, Montreuil in the “Salon Cosmos” with Véronique Bourgoin
2015 Ostrale 015 international Exhibition, Dresden, Germany
2015 Galerie Catherine Houard, Paris

Solo exhibitions:

2016 Galerie Louis Gendre, Chamalières.