LALANNE François-Xavier and Claude
François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne are a couple of French artist sculptors. François-Xavier Lalanne is born in Agen in 1927. At the age of 18, he moves to Paris and studies sculpture, drawing and painting at the Académie Julian. He spends time with several personalities of the surrealist movement such as René Magritte or Salvador Dalí. In 1952, during his first painting exhibition, he meets his future wife, Claude. Claude Lalanne is born in Paris in 1924, she studies architecture at the School of Fine Arts and attends the School of Decorative Arts. In 1956, François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne begin their artistic collaboration. In 1964, their first joint exhibition takes place in Jeanine Restany ‘J’ gallery, named ‘Zoophites’. The Lalanne have never exhibited separately, although their works are not common and can be considered individually, a common thread connects their creations: a tribute to nature and beauty. They both have the belief that works of art can have a function and play with this idea while creating their sculptures. Their universe is part of the surrealist movement, their creations are very dreamlike; between flora and fauna we find sheep, hippos, birds and many other animals serving as lamps, desks or bars. François-Xavier Lalanne made himself known thanks to his sheep as well as the ‘rhinocretary’, a bronze secretary in the shape of a rhinoceros that made him stand out among the French public. The Lalanne’s best-known clients are numerous and among them, we find the Rothschilds, the Noailles or Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, with whom Claude Lalanne collaborates on several occasions. François-Xavier Lalanne died in 2008 in Ruy. Two years later a retrospective is devoted to the couple at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. In 2019 Claude Lalanne died in Fontainebleau.