Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong
Ben Brown Fine Arts presents “Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne“, the third Lalanne exhibition to be held at the Hong Kong gallery. This exhibition will bring together the organicallyinspired, ornate works of nonagenarian Claude Lalanne in the form of mirrors, chairs, lighting and various whimsical sculptures with the iconic and more austere works of her late husband François Xavier Lalanne, in the form of sheep and deer.
The work of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, who are often referred to as Les Lalanne, defies categorisation: it is at once surrealist, classical, contemporary, fine art, decorative art, functional design and fanciful objets. The last of a generation of avant-garde artists in Paris, Claude is able to reminisce of their times living next door to Constantin Brancusi, travelling in the same circle as René Magritte and Max Ernst, and working with loyal collectors such as Yves Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé. While Les Lalanne shared a studio and exhibited together throughout their careers, their oeuvres are entirely distinctive. Claude’s work takes on a more sinuous and ethereal form, depicting flora and fauna evocative of the art nouveau movement.
François-Xavier’s works—including sheep, rhinoceroses, gorillas, desks and bars—offer a gravity of form and functional ingenuity that redefine their original representation. Together, the Lalannes’ works are at once playful, profound, elegant and evocative, and equally suitable for traditional and contemporary environments. The exhibition includes many new works from Claude’s studio such as three unique bronze and copper mirrors (each Miroir, 2015), an electrified lantern (Lanterne, 2015), a green patinated standing cabbage (Choupatte, 2014-2015), two elegant armchairs (each Fauteuil Entrelacs, 2015-2016) and two crocodile footed side tables (each Osiris, 2015-2016). Several iconic François-Xavier pieces will be exhibited, including a graceful bronze deer (Wapiti (petit), 1988) and two of his classic sheep fabricated from epoxy stone and bronze (each Mouton Transhumant, 1988).
The Lalannes’ works are represented in many prominent private and public collections around the world, such as the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris.