Purple Diary

[May 18 2011]


in the intimate setting of the Parisian JGM Gallery, a selection of
works by master French artists Claude Lalanne and the late
Francois-Xavier Lalanne are yet again homage to the powerful poetics of
the Lalanne’s world. Although owning their personal style, it is their
particular shared signature and tribute to the natural world that seems
to make works their works inseparable. Claude’s new reptilian tables and
delicate Hortensia benches are showcased alongside Francois-Xavier’s
menagerie of bears, monkeys and birds. Having not exhibited seperately
since 1962, Francois-Xavier’s classical and animalier constructions
speak the same language as Claude’s baroque mouldings and castings. At
the heart of their practice is a shared Brancusian influence and the
creation of their own breed of art, one that is hybrid and utilitarian; Sauterelle (1970) by Francois-Xavier, one of the only two
exemplaries to exist with the other owned by the Duke of Edinburgh,
makes an appearance in a delicate white Sèvres biscuit, steel and
polished brass. The grasshopper reveals to open itself into a bar
sculpture – just one of the many surprises the Lalannes seem to
effortlessly compose. Claude’s infamous Pomme Bouche continues to
transfix with the viewer’s direct physical relationship never
superseded. These incongrous assemblages – which in time, along with
Francois-Xavier’s, have been collected by figures such as Salvador Dali
and Yves Saint Laurent – are born from nature’s symphonies,
organic and surreal in their articulation.

Francois-Xavier Lalanne and Claude Lalanne are on view at JGM Galerie, 79 rue du Temple, Paris. Photo and text Sophie Pinchetti

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