François-Xavier Lalanne, ‘Mouton ‘Brebis’’, 1994, Phillips

Guaranteed Property (see Conditions of Sale for further information)
Edited by Blanchet-Landowski, Bagnolet, France. Impressed Blanchet Fondeur 1994/22/250.

From the Catalogue:
François-Xavier Lalanne frequented l'Académie Julian before being called for mandatory military service. Upon his return he established both his studio in Montparnasse and a friendship with the Romanian artist Constantin Brâncuși, whose influence led to Lalanne’s transition from painting to sculpture. Lalanne’s first solo exhibition of paintings was held at Galerie Cimaise in Paris in 1953, and it was here where Lalanne was introduced to Claude Dupeux, his future wife and lifelong collaborator. In 1964, the Lalannes had their first solo and revered exhibition.

Lalanne was inspired by naturalistic animal forms, and his first flock of sheep titled Pour Polyphème were submitted to the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in 1966, revisiting the concept of Magritte’s The Treachery of Images. In reference to his exhibit Lalanne commented: “If you come with a snail as big as a thumb, nobody notices; you have to go with something immodest and slightly embarrassing”. Pour Polyphème was destined to constitute a precedent for the rest of the artist prolific career. From this moment onwards his work evoked the ‘shared spirit’ of the Surrealist philosophy (Daniel Abadie, Lalanne(s), Paris, 2008, p. 143) and became recognisable for its iconic absurdity. François-Xavier Lalanne wrote: “If there exists a planet where plants moved on feet, you might see grass run off at the approach of a cow. Unless on that particular planet, animals where rooted to the spot the way oysters are stuck to their rock. Suddenly the immobile would seize the mobile, turning plants into meat-eaters. Thus animal would be vegetable. Ultimately we just might be living on some other planet.”
Courtesy of Phillips

Robert Rosenblum, Claude et François-Xavier Lalanne, exh. cat., Château de Chenonceau, Chenonceaux, 1991, pp. 122, 124, 127
Daniel Marchessau, The Lalannes, France, 1998, p. 37
Daniel Abadie, Lalanne(s), Paris, 2008, p. 188
Daniel Marchesseau, Les Lalannes, exh. cat., Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 2010, p. 143

Gallery Guy Pieters, Knokke, Belgium
Acquired from the above by the present owner

About François-Xavier Lalanne

Acclaimed for his surreal animal sculptures, Francois-Xavier Lalanne worked closely with his wife, Claude Lalanne, producing curious objects that blur the distinction between fine and decorative art. The Lalannes rejected the abstract styles popular during the mid 20th century, choosing instead to represent the flora and fauna of the natural world. While Claude preferred plant life, Francois-Xavier favored animals, creating works that, like Carpe (petite) (1987), add an artful element to daily domestic experience. Lalanne also created large-scale outdoor and public sculptures in which animals such as bulls, sheep, and gorillas are modeled in larger-than-life proportions, cast in bronze, and installed in locations ranging from rural backyards to bustling city streets. Whether indoors or outside, Lalanne’s works echo his belief that “the supreme art is the art of living.”

French, 1927-2008, Agen, France