© 2018 McNamara Art Projects

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“They are not furniture, they are not sculpture – call them ‘Lalannes.”

– Claude Lalanne

 

Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne met in Paris in 1952 when they began working and exploring the natural world together through sculpture. Their early days were marked by interactions with the thriving community of artists in Montparnasse, not least François-Xavier's early neighbour Constantin Brâncuși who inspired his transition from painting to sculpture. While very distinct in their styles, with François-Xavier's witty, bold and majestic animal sculptures, in contrast to Claude's delicate flora and fauna inspired pieces, together they created a world of fantasy.

The Lalanne found inspiration for their works in nature. In François-Xavier’s words, "The animal world constitutes the richest and most varied forms on the planet." Their subjects consist of a menagerie of animals, stylized forms oftentimes married with functionality. Their works achieve streamlined elegance in their profound simplicity.

The pair worked separately, but the art of both combined contemporary ways of working with traditional craftsmanship to conceive an oeuvre that represents an unprecedented unification of fine and decorative art traditions, whether it was sculptures for the home or artistic furnishings. It was radical for its time but was quickly embraced by the tastemakers of high society, and the artists found fans in the likes of Salvador Dali, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino.

McNamara Art Projects curated a selection of the artists’ seminal sculptures in a traditional Zen Garden theme atop the fountain in Landmark Atrium.

The serenity and simplicity of the Zen Garden is in stark contrast to the whimsical and captivating nature of the Lalanne’s sculptures. The displayed environment creates an experience that enables the viewer to enter a glimpse the Lalanne’s surreal universe.

 

With special thanks to Ben Brown Fine Arts.

 

Date: 20th – 30th March 2017