Saturday, May 15, 2010

Voilà Les Lalanne

Fauteuil Crapaud, François-Xavier Lalanne, 1969

The Musée des Arts décoratifs in Paris is hosting a major retrospective 
of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne until the 4th of July. 

Claude and François-Xavier met in 1952 and started working together in 1956. 
Since their first exhibition entitled "Zoophites" in 1964, this inseparable couple 
of surrealist artists have always exhibited and worked together, and consequently 
have often been regarded as a single entity, although they rarely collaborated 
on a piece of work.Their unconventional sculptures have individual styles but share 
a common inspiration in animals and nature, and an ironic vocation to become whimsical
 but functional objects that can be touched, sat upon, worn and sometimes even eaten.

Detail of the exhibition featuring Claude Lalanne's 
Petits Lapins à Collerette and Dragonnets

Banc crocodile, Claude Lalanne, 2005

Tortuga deyrollensa, Claude Lalanne

Claude’s works, often designed to be used as jewellery, furniture and tableware, 
tend to be more delicate, intricate and baroque. Her late husband (François-Xavier 
passed away in 2008 at 81) crafted more weighty, monumental and stylized forms, 
often remindful of ancient Egyptian sculptures.

Cocodoll, François-Xavier Lalanne, 1964
Rhinocrétaire II, François-Xavier Lalanne, 1966

La mouche, François-Xavier Lalanne, 1966

Hippopotame I, François-Xavier Lalanne, 1968-69

Les Lalanne's mischievous creatures are a playful and unique combination of fine 
and decorative art, design and figurative sculpture, surrealism and Nouveau Realisme.
 They gathered a cult following among important private collectors around the world,
 including fashion icons like Yves Sain Laurent, Coco Chanel and Tom Ford.

BoÎte des sardines, François-Xavier Lalanne, 1971

Oiseau à bascule, François-Xavier Lalanne, 1974

Grue lumineuse, François-Xavier Lalanne, 1991

Sheep by François-Xavier Lalanne on Park Avenue, by the New York city parks 
public arts programme in conjunction with Paul Kasmin Gallery, 2009.

The exhibition's "Minotaure" and "Singeries" rooms

The exhibitions was designed by the American architect Peter Marino
a collector and promoter of Les Lalanne for more than 30 years, as a thematic journey
 through over 150 of their artworks. I hope I'll be able to get to Paris and see this in person!


  1. Unbelievably imaginative. Loved this post.

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