MIAMI, FL.- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
presents the U.S.s largest outdoor exhibition of works by French sculptors Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne as part of its renowned, annual visual art program this year. The exhibition, Les Lalanne at Fairchild, features more than thirty sculptures, including works never before publicly exhibited in the U.S.,and one multi-piece work comprised of more than a dozen individual sculptures, installed throughout the Gardens 83-acres of lush, tropical landscape designed by William Lyman Phillips, a key member of Central Parks Frederick Law Olmstead architectural group for many years before moving to South Florida where he became a leading independent tropical landscape architect. The show opens Tuesday, November 30, 2010 to coincide with Art Basel Miami Beach.
Drawing surrealist imagery from flora and fauna, the Lalannes sculptures create an extraordinary element of surprise and wonder set within Fairchilds botanic paradise of rare palms, cycads, and flowering plants. Fairchild is thrilled to present the outdoor exhibition of the remarkable works of renowned French artists Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, said Carl Lewis, Director of Fairchild. The artists exuberant sculptures set amongst Fairchilds world-class, unusual, tropical plant collections are sure to enchant visitors of all ages, as well as support our commitment to culture in South Florida.
The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens world-famous landscape is the first in the U.S. to publicly host a series of premiere works by the renowned French artists. Works never before publicly exhibited in the U.S. featured in the monumental exhibition include Claude Lalannes Dimetrodon II (1998), a unique copper and steel topiary shaped in the form of a dinosaur from the Permian period, displaying a large Marlin-like fin and spouting water through shark-like teeth; François-Xaviers Lièvre de Maillac I (fontaine) (1998), a series of four small, seated rabbits made of bronze, doubling as fountains; and François-Xaviers Canard sur LEau (Grand Canard flottant) (2006); Génie de Bellerive (Grand) Sur pylone (2007), a young owl with its wings spread in tribute to artist Max Ernst, and hovering upon a tall, abstract pedestal in homage to Constantin Brancusi, a close friend of the Lalannes; Claude Lalannes Nouveau Lapin de Victoire (Grand) (2010), a rabbit standing upright with pole in hand, sculpted entirely of bronze; La Grande Ourse (1994), a monumental bronze bear drawn into an upright stance; Vache Paysage (La Grande) (2006), a bronze cow with its center doubling as a window through which to view the lush setting of Fairchilds tropical gardens; and Crocodile (Banc) (2010), a bronze and brass bench that features a foliage entangled crocodile under the seat, made specially for Fairchild.
Accompanying the kingdom of the Lalannes animal-inspired works are Claude Lalannes (b. 1924) exquisite Olympe (Grande) (2001), depicting a young girl modeled after the image of the artists granddaughter, with cast lettuce leaves draped as a mantle upon her shoulders and a triumphant spray of water shooting up from her right hand; and Pomme dHiver (2008), a large-scale bronze sculpture of a golden apple which serves as an iconic piece in the artists oeuvreeach making their first publicly exhibited appearance in the U.S.
Traveling to the lush setting of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden from the urban environment of New Yorks Park Avenue where they appeared in Fall 2009 are: Claude Lalannes Choupatte (Très Grand) (2008), an anthropomorphized cabbage with birds feet, textured and colored by verdigris; François-Xaviers Oiseau de nuit (Grand), (2004), a wise owl that perches knowingly atop its bronze pedestal; and François-Xaviers Wapiti (Grand) (1996), a North-American deer that looks over its shoulder, making viewers aware of the animals perspective. Also shown are François-Xavier Lalannes (19272008) final sculpture, Singe Avisé (Très Grand) (2008), a regal monkey seated with his legs crossed and a pensive expression; Moutons (19881994), which features a life-size flock of more than a dozen sheep and lambs, crafted from epoxystone and bronze; and Poisson Paysage V, (2007), a bronze fish sculpted with its middle squarely cut out, serving as a splendid frame for the ever-changing natural beauty of Fairchild.
The beauty of the gardens world-renowned landscape is also furthered enhanced by a series of elegant outdoor furniture pieces cast from nature by Claude Lalanne as commissioned by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. And, making its return to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is François-Xaviers Requin (Grand) (2006), a sleek white bronze shark complete with stylized gills and dynamic fins, which was last seen at Fairchild in December 2007 after a year of exhibition.
Les Lalanne at Fairchild is presented in conjunction with Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York.
Having rediscovered the Renaissance art of casting forms from life, then employing contemporary electro-plating techniques, Claude Lalanne achieves a delicacy and sensitivity in her work unparalleled in cast bronze. François-Xavier Lalanne similarly found inspiration for his works in nature. In his words, "The animal world constitutes the richest and most varied forms on the planet." His subjects consist of a menagerie of animals, stylized forms oftentimes married with functionality. His works achieve streamlined elegance in their profound simplicity.
The Lalannes work, known individually and collectively since the 1960s, has been exhibited extensively in important exhibitions, and most recently, featured on New Yorks Park Avenue in the artists U.S. public art debut. The Lalannes are represented in major private and public collections, including: the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum (New York); Musée Nationale d'Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris); Muséum National dHistoire Naturelle (Paris); the City of Paris; the City of Santa Monica; and the City of Jerusalem. Les Lalanne at Fairchild continues Fairchilds annual exhibition of art to support its various programs and encourage cultural enhancement in South Florida. Fairchild houses internationally important collections of rare tropical fruit and cycads, as well as the largest palm collection in the U.S. The Garden maintains an international conservation program, which works with more than 20 countries to preserve some of the worlds rarest species and tropical habitats.