L ater this year in Paris Sotheby’s is to offer ninety sculptures by Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, the beloved husband and wife artistic duo known for their whimsical works inspired by the animal kingdom and the natural world. The pieces come directly from the collection of their daughter Dorothée, including unique and never seen before works, all passed down to her by her parents.
The first chance to see highlights from the collection will be during Paris Fashion week in September, when they will be unveiled at 30 avenue Montaigne, the historic home address of the House of Dior, recently reopened after a two-year renovation project.
The exhibition marks the next stage in a relationship that stretches back, to the time when, in the 1957, Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne were invited to design displays for 30 Avenue Montaigne. Fifty years later, in 2007, architect Peter Marino would commission a Gingko round bench from Claude Lalanne for the same store.
"François-Xavier knows how to combine the elegance of the design with the rigor of the forms"
More recently, in 2017, Maria Grazia Chiuri called on Claude Lalanne, who was then in her nineties, to create spectacular jewellery for her first Haute Couture show as Creative Director of Dior women’s collections. Then, in 2021, Dior sponsored the ‘Les Lalanne à Trianon’ exhibition, celebrating the sculptors’ work in the gardens of the Château de Versailles.
This autumn collectors will be able to discover many of the pair’s most celebrated works: the Grand Mouflon de Pauline (a sheep shaped bar cabinet); the S’asseoir en Forêt (a bench seemingly woven from branches), Taureau (the bull), Requin (the shark), Singe Attentif (the attentive monkey), Double-Banc Tourterelles (the double dove settee), banc Williamsburg (the Williamsburg bench), and Lampe Singe Allumé (the monkey table lamp). Around 90 works then be presented at Sotheby’s Paris headquarters, 76 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in a setting specially designed for this exceptional event, ahead of the sale this Autumn.
"Claude works as the birds sing, without really thinking about it”
Paris Exhibition Details
Dior, 30 Avenue Montaigne Flagship Store
Sotheby's Galerie Charpentier