Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of over 30 recent and historical works by French artists Claude Lalanne (b. 1924) and François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008). The exhibition will be on view May 4th through June 16th, 2012, at both of the gallery’s locations: 293 Tenth Avenue and 515 West 27th Street. Since the 1960s, the husband and wife team known as Les Lalanne have always exhibited their work together, developing a style of sculpture that has been defined as inventive, poetic, and surrealist.
The exhibition will include historical works such as Francois-Xavier’s Hippopotame I from 1968-1969, a hippopotamus sculpture in blue polyester resin, reminiscent of the blue hippopotamus figurines from ancient Egypt. Originally made for Teeny and Marcel Duchamp, the sculpture opens in various areas to reveal a bathtub in its body and a usable sink in its head. Equally surreal and functional, the cast iron Babouin from 1973 is a working fireplace hidden in the belly of a baboon.
Claude Lalanne will exhibit for the first time in the United States her magnificent Trône de Pauline (moyen) (2010), a 5-foot-tall bronze throne, using her iconic gingko motif. Also on view will be the Banquette crocodile (2012), a bronze bench built around the casts of two life-size crocodiles. Having rediscovered the Renaissance art of casting forms from life, while employing contemporary electro-plating techniques, Claude achieves a delicacy and sensitivity unparalleled in cast bronze.
Most recently, Les Lalanne were the subject of a major retrospective at the Museé Des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and a large-scale public exhibition at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida. Their work was also featured on New York’s Park Avenue in 2009 and in the Christie’s sale of the collection of Yves Saint Laurent in February 2009. The work of Les Lalanne is included in major collections including the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York, the Museé Nationale d’Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou, the Museé d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, the City of Paris, the City of Santa Monica, and the City of Jerusalem.
A publication of photographs taken by Paul Kasmin in the home and studio of Les Lalanne will be released by Rizzoli in May 2012. Titled "CLAUDE & FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE: Art | Work | Life," it is the first intimate visual biography of the work of Les Lalanne, illustrated with never-before-seen photographs.
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