Exhibition brings together over 20 sculptures by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne

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Exhibition brings together over 20 sculptures by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne
Claude Lalanne, Choupatte, 2014. Bronze patinated blue/green, 24 1/4 x 26 1/2 x 24 inches, 61.6 x 67.3 x 61 cm © 2020 Les Lalanne / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy of Kasmin Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Kasmin is presenting an exhibition of works by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, curated by designer Brian McCarthy and on view at Kasmin's 297 Tenth Avenue location. The show brings together over 20 sculptures that highlight the beauty, elegance, and unparalleled craftsmanship of Les Lalanne.

The exhibition emphasizes the artists' kinship with the natural world, demonstrating their surrealist philosophy and mirroring the verdant gardens of their studio and home in Ury, France. Carefully selected, the sculptures presented here are signature works by Claude Lalanne, including her Banc Crocodile (2014) cast carefully from crocodile hide, her Choupatte (2014) with its iconic long chicken legs emerging beneath a large turquoise cabbage, and her Ginkgo table and chairs (2018/1996/2009). Also included are several unique Miroirs with tendril vines scrolling down their sides and leaves sprouting from their corners. Claude's Miroirs were famously commissioned in 1974 by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé for the music salon of their Rue de Babylone apartment in Paris. Like many of her works, these are cast from life by means of a galvano electroplating process where leaves are hand dipped into a bath of chemicals, an electric current is initiated and, over time, a cocoon of metal builds around each leaf.

Equally remarkable are the works presented by Francois-Xavier Lalanne. The exhibition features his Chouette de Tourtour (1992/2002) alongside Singe avise (moyen) (2005), and the incredibly rare Wapiti (1996). These examples are emblematic of Francois-Xavier Lalanne’s uncanny ability to sculpt the animal kingdom. Following his tenure as a guard at the Musée du Louvre, François-Xavier Lalanne incorporated Egyptian and Assyrian characteristics into his sculpture, paying close attention to the animal form in ancient wall reliefs and idolic sculpture. Referencing the ethereal calm of the animals they pay homage to, the artist said, “No creature on earth has so great an aptitude for stillness as a wild animal. Its stillness is so absolute that, in its natural environment, it can become invisible.” As with both of the artists' works, his are sculptures that have functional value, creating a sense of accessibility that contradicts the sacred treatment of the ancient objects in the Louvre.

Brian McCarthy worked closely with Claude Lalanne on presentations and placements of the couple’s work since 2000 and has said, “There’s no one else like Les Lalanne, they are utterly unique.” The exhibition at Kasmin is staged ahead of the duo’s first US institutional show since 1966, scheduled to go on view at the Clark Art Museum, Massachusetts, in Spring 2021.

Known individually and collectively since the 1960s as Les Lalanne, Claude Lalanne (1925–2019) and Francois-Xavier Lalanne (1927–2008) developed a style that defines inventive, poetic and surrealist sculpture. The artists have been exhibited in New York on Park Avenue and at the Getty Station; have been the subject of major retrospectives at Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris; included in the sale of the collection of Yves Saint Laurent and Jacques Grange; and are in major collections including the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York, the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou and the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the City of Paris, the City of Santa Monica, and the City of Jerusalem.

A former partner of the legendary design firm Parish-Hadley, designer Brian McCarthy founded his eponymous firm Brian J. McCarthy Inc. in 1992. Since then, he has worked on projects and residences around the globe. In 2005, Brian was invited by the U.S. Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle to design the private quarters and refurbish the State Rooms in Winfield House, the official residence of the Ambassador to the Court of St. James. A graduate of New York City's Pratt Institute, Brian is a proud member of Architectural Digest's AD100 and Elle Decor's A-List and his work has been featured in many publications, including Architectural Digest, on the cover of Galerie magazine, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, New York Magazine (100 Best), the New York Times, and Veranda, as well as in several books. Brian is also the author of Luminous Interiors and Parish Hadley Tree of Life, which he co-authored with Bunny Williams, and he lectures about his work and design around the country. He was awarded The Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award from The New York School of Interior Design on March 3, 2020.

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