The husband-wife team, Claude (b. 1924) and Francois-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), are known for their surrealist sculptures that depict animals and vegetation in states of curiosity, almost as if lost and displaced in size and functionality: a shark out of water, a gorilla pondering a distant noise, or shepherd-less sheep gathered on Park Avenue. Collected by the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Reed Krakoff and interior architect Peter Marino, Lalanne pieces beckon attention because they don't quite fit into their environments—never fully representative—nor in categorical descriptions as furniture piece or object d'arts. Rather, in poetic epoxy, they aim to confront the beauty of our own animalic unfamiliarity.
Opening today at both Paul Kasmin Gallery locations, LES LALANNE will include over thirty recent and historical works by the couple, including Francois-Xavier's Hippopotame from 1968-1969 and Claude's Trône de Pauline (moyen) (2010). A Rizzoli publication of photographs of their work and studio, titled "CLAUDE & FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE: Art | Work | Life," will also be released. If going to the zoo isn’t on your list of must-dos this weekend, substitute the real for the idealistic in a showing that promises to be a hoot regardless.
Paul Kasmin Gallery 293 Tenth Avenue and 515 W. 27th Street May 4-June 9, 2012