Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne

Paris, France

Les Lalanne is the moniker of husband and wife artistic duo Claude Lalanne (born in Paris in 1924) and François-Xavier Lalanne (born in Agen, France in 1927 and died in 2008 in Ury, France). François-Xavier studied drawing, sculpture, and painting at the Académie Julian in Paris, graduating in 1945, while Claude studied at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts and École des Arts-Décoratifs. The two began collaborating in 1956 and married in 1967.

Recognized both independently and collectively since the 1960s, the pair is known for whimsical sculptures inspired by flora and fauna. Their works reference 20th-century Surrealism, classical antiquity, French craftsmanship, and the Baroque. Famous pieces include François-Xavier’s Rhinocrétaire (2002), a hammered brass rhinoceros sculpture that doubles as a desk; his Gorille de Sûreté II (1984), a large gorilla that conceals a guarded safe; and Claude’s Lustre 15 Bougies (2011), a chandelier composed of a tangle of bronze branches. Much of Claude’s work combines traditional casting techniques with contemporary electroplating methods. Many of François-Xavier’s animal kingdom sculptures incorporated sheet metal to emphasize their grand nature.

In 2010, Les Lalanne were the subject of a major retrospective at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris as well as a large-scale public exhibition at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida. The LaLanne’s work is included in several major collections, including those of the City of Paris, the City of Jerusalem, and the City of Santa Monica, as well as the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York and the Museé Nationale d’Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

Claude lives and works in Paris.