In recent years the work of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne has achieved iconic status, garnering a cult-like following among private collectors and luminaries such as Yves Saint Laurent, Peter Marino, Marc Jacobs, Valentino and Tom Ford. This summer Ben Brown Fine Arts will mount a major retrospective of the duo’s fantastical output, exhibiting their famous bronze sculptures together with specially commissioned new works by Claude.
Drawing inspiration from flora and fauna, the Lalannes’ sculptures embody an eclectic style that references classical antiquity, surrealism and the Baroque. Among the most famous on show are François-Xavier’s playful animal sculptures, which all feature hidden compartments: a life-size rhinoceros doubles as a writing desk, and the bared chest of a gorilla guards a concealed safe (Rhinocrétaire, 2002, and Gorille de Sûreté II, 1984). Equally inventive is Claude’s Choupatte, très grand (2008), an oversized cabbage perched on surrealistic chicken’s legs and textured by verdigris.
As practical as they are imaginative, the Lalannes’ sculptures represent a unique marriage of fine and decorative art traditions. Les Lalanne at Ben Brown Fine Arts is the first significant retrospective to be dedicated to the work of these renowned artists in London.