Les Lalanne

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Les Lalanne were a French artist duo comprising married couple François-Xavier Lalanne (1927–2008) and Claude Lalanne (1924–2019). [1]


Francois-Xavier Lalanne was born in Agen, France, and received a Jesuit education. At age 18, he moved to Paris and studied sculpture, drawing and painting at Académie Julian. [2] In 1948 Lalanne worked as an attendant at the Louvre in the Oriental Antiques section. [3] Francois-Xavier rented a studio in Montparnasse], next door to friend Constantin Brâncuși, after completing mandatory military service. Brâncuși introduced Lalanne to artists such as Max Ernst, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, and Jean Tinguely. [4] He met Claude Lalanne at his first gallery show in 1952. [5] The show signified an end of painting for François-Xavier as he and Claude began their career sculpting together.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Académie Julian Art school in Paris, France

The Académie Julian was a private art school for painting and sculpture founded in Paris, France, in 1867 by French painter and teacher Rodolphe Julian (1839–1907) that was active from 1868 through 1968. It remained famous for the number and quality of artists who attended during the great period of effervescence in the arts in the early twentieth century. After 1968, it integrated with ESAG Penninghen.

Louvre Art museum and Historic site in Paris, France

The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum, receiving 10.2 million visitors.

Chatsworth Gardens - geograph.org.uk - 597020 Chatsworth Gardens - geograph.org.uk - 597020.jpg
Chatsworth Gardens - geograph.org.uk - 597020

In 1983 Lalanne was commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture to design new monumental fountains for the square in front of the Hôtel de Ville, Paris, and also to design gardens for the reconstructed Les Halles in the center of Paris. [6]

Hôtel de Ville, Paris town hall of Paris, France

The Hôtel de Ville in Paris, France, is the building housing the city's local administration, standing on the place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville in the 4th arrondissement. The south wing was originally constructed by François I beginning in 1535 until 1551. The north wing was built by Henry IV and Louis XIII between 1605 and 1628.It was burned by the Paris Commune, along with all the city archives that it contained, during the Commune's final days in May 1871. The outside was rebuilt following the original design, but larger, between 1874 and 1882, while the inside was considerably modified. It has been the headquarters of the municipality of Paris since 1357. It serves multiple functions, housing the local administration, the Mayor of Paris, and also serves as a venue for large receptions.

Les Halles area of Paris, France; food market

Les Halles was Paris's central fresh food market. It was demolished in 1971 and replaced by the Forum des Halles, a modern shopping mall built largely underground and directly connected to the massive RER and métro transit hub of Châtelet-Les-Halles. The shopping mall welcomes 150,000 visitors daily.

Claude Lalanne (1924–2019) was born in Paris and studied architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts and at the École des Arts Décoratifs. [7] She involved herself in the artist community in Impasse Ronsin, Montparnasse, Paris and became friends with American artists Larry Rivers and Jimmy Metcalf who helped her develop the art of electroplating. [8]

École des Beaux-Arts influential art schools in France

An École des Beaux-Arts is one of a number of influential art schools in France. The most famous is the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, now located on the left bank in Paris, across the Seine from the Louvre, at 14 rue Bonaparte. The school has a history spanning more than 350 years, training many of the great artists in Europe. Beaux Arts style was modeled on classical "antiquities", preserving these idealized forms and passing the style on to future generations.

Larry Rivers American artist

Larry Rivers was an American artist, musician, filmmaker and occasional actor. Rivers resided and maintained studios in New York City, Southampton, Long Island, and Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

Electroplating creation of protective or decorative metallic coating on other metall with electric current

Electroplating is a process that uses an electric current to reduce dissolved metal cations so that they form a thin coherent metal coating on an electrode. The term is also used for electrical oxidation of anions on to a solid substrate, as in the formation of silver chloride on silver wire to make silver/silver-chloride electrodes. Electroplating is primarily used to change the surface properties of an object, but may also be used to build up thickness on undersized parts or to form objects by electroforming.

Claude Lalanne became known to the larger public in France in 1976 when the singer Serge Gainsbourg selected one of her works, "The man with the head of a cabbage", for the title and cover of an album of his.

Serge Gainsbourg French musician and actor

Serge Gainsbourg was a French singer, songwriter, pianist, film composer, poet, painter, screenwriter, writer, actor and director. Regarded as one of the most important figures in French popular music, he was renowned for his often provocative and scandalous releases, as well as his diverse artistic output, which embodied genres ranging from jazz, mambo, world, chanson, pop and yé-yé, to rock and roll, progressive rock, reggae, electronic, disco, new wave and funk. Gainsbourg's varied musical style and individuality make him difficult to categorize although his legacy has been firmly established and he is often regarded as one of the world's most influential popular musicians.

Les Lalanne are represented by the Paul Kasmin Gallery in New York City and Ben Brown Fine Arts in London.

Paul Kasmin Gallery is a New York City fine art gallery, founded in SoHo in 1989.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Artworks and exhibitions

Les Lalanne were known to co-create on projects rather than collaborate. While Francois-Xavier favored sculpting animal themes, Claude preferred vegetation. [9] The themes explored by the two collectively went against the current trend of Abstract art in the 1960s. The couple believed and Francois-Xavier claimed, "the supreme art is the art of living." [10] The couple began attracting public attention in Paris during the 1960s when Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé commissioned them. [11] In particular, Francois-Xavier's realistic bronze cast sheep covered in skin alongside lily vanes cast by Claude were displayed in the library of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. [5] Their first exhibition together included Francois-Xavier's famous rhinoceros desk, Rhinocrétaire, and Claude's cabbage with chicken legs sculpture. Similar themes by Les Lalanne have classified their works as an ode to Surrealism and Art Nouveau. [12]

Pomme de Londres (2007) MBAM 023.JPG
Pomme de Londres (2007)

In recent years, the works of Les Lalanne have been exhibited in different venues in New York City. In 2009, the artist duo participated in Park Avenue Recession Art, an effort developed by the Paul Kasmin Gallery, the New York City Parks Department’s public-art division and the Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee. [13] The project involved a series of sculptures in between crosswalks on Park Avenue. The pieces featured were a bronze apple called "Pomme de New York" on 52nd Street, "Moutons" on 53rd Street, "Choupatte (Très Grand)" on 56th Street, and "Singe Avisé (Très Grand)" on 58th Street, which was François-Xavier's last sculpture. [13]

In the Fall of 2013, Mr. LaLanne's sheep were the inaugural public installation of "Getty Station", a former gas service station conceived by real estate developer and art collector Michael Shvo in Manhattan's Chelsea district, to much fanfare. [14]

Selected press

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  1. "Mort de Claude Lalanne, artiste de cœur et de bronze". www.lefigaro.fr. Apr 10, 2019. Retrieved Apr 10, 2019.
  2. Grimes, William (29 March 2010). "Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Sculptor of Surrealist Animals, is Dead at 81". New York Times. Obituary.
  3. Marchesseau, D. (1998). The Lalannes. Flammarion. p. 27. ISBN   978-2080136527
  4. Grimes, William (29 March 2010). "Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Sculptor of Surrealist Animals, is Dead at 81". NY Times. Obituary.
  5. 1 2 Slonim, Jeffrey. "Class Menagerie". Gotham Magazine.
  6. Andre Hoffman, La Creation Contemporaine, Paris et Ses Fontaines, de la Renaissance a nos jours. Collection Paris et son patrimoine, Paris, 1995.
  7. "The Art of Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne". frenchculture.org.
  8. "Claude Lalanne". Cinoa.org.
  9. "Animal, vegetable, mineral". The Economist. 8 April 2010.
  10. Viladas, Pilar (2 April 2006). "Living Treasures". New York Times.
  11. "Christie's Presents Largest Group of Lalanne Works Ever to be Offered". Art Daily.
  12. "Animal, vegetable, mineral". The Economist. 8 April 2010.
  13. 1 2 Jose, Katherine. "Park Avenue Recession Art, by Lalanne". The New York Observer.
  14. "VIDEO: Lalanne's Grazing Sheep Take Over NYC Gas Station | BLOUIN ARTINFO". www.blouinartinfo.com. Retrieved Apr 10, 2019.