As much as we love elegant well-balanced design, it are those makers who create with a similar precision, but always inhabiting a certain element of friction, who continue to stand out rather than loose real relevance over time. Among the artist who have proven to be just that; exquisitely precise but always finding ways to be represent friction into in their case timeless sculptural creations based on animals and nature – full of humor – are the French artist duo Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, who have inspired us with their timeless work since we discovered it through the Yves Saint Laurent art sale in 2009. Following a retrospective exhibition in 2009, inspired by the death of François-Xavier, last month on the 12th of December, the Paris-based Galerie Mitterrand opened another grande exhibition devoted to extraordinary work of Les Lalanne, celebrating 40 years of collaboration between the artists and Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand, and 25 years with the gallery. This exhibition is the opportunity to discover (or rediscover) the art works of this internationally renowned, extremely talented couple of sculptors.
Since the 1960s, Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne have created parallel oeuvres full of humor and poetry on the themes of animals and nature, yet working each with their own modus operandi. Claude Lalanne’s style is driven by her ornamental and baroque spirit, though keeping this intuition free from the technical constraints it requires. As for François-Xavier, his works include a mischievous bestiary bearing aloof attitudes, placing his sculptural work in line with that of 20th-century artists like Pompon or Brancusi (who was his neighbor in their Montparnasse workshop).
The exhibition at the Galerie Mitterrand presents a selection of historical pieces and more recent works by both artists.
François-Xavier’s memorable ‘Moutons’ made of epoxy stone and the ‘Fontaine aux oiseaux sur la plage’ (1995) have been gathered along with ‘Table aux pieds de Cerfs’ and ‘Moyen Mouflon’, shown here for the first time. Claude’s recent works: ‘Nouveau Choupatte’ (2014), ‘Jules & Jim’ (2015) are shown alongside new sculptures created especially for the exhibition at the Galerie Mitterrand: ‘Berces Adossées’ (2015), a pair of Fauteuils ‘Entrelacs’ (2015), ‘Petite Table Crocodile’ (2015), ‘Marcassin’ (2015), as well as a new series of six ‘Miroirs’ (2015).
Claude Lalanne was born in Paris in 1925, she lives and works in Ury. François-Xavier Lalanne was born in Agen in 1927 and died in 2008 in Ury. François-Xavier studied painting at the Académie Julian before turning to sculpture; he worked with Claude from the mid-1950s onwards. For a long time, they collaborated with gallery owner Alexandre Iolas; they began working with the Galerie Mitterrand in the early 1990s and together have organized over a dozen exhibitions. Thanks to the great success of the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé sale, the public discovered the important place that the Lalanne couple occupied among the masterpieces gathered by the two collectors during their lifetime. In 2010, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs of Paris curated a retrospective of their oeuvres.
When in Paris before the 6th of February make sure to visit the Galerie Mitterand at 79, rue du Temple, opened Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 – 19:00 to enjoy the totally unique vision of Les Lalanne.
For more information see here