François-Xavier Lalanne

François-Xavier Lalanne
François-Xavier Lalanne
François-Xavier Lalanne

Biography of François-Xavier Lalanne ( 1927-2008 )

François-Xavier Lalanne was a French sculptor and engraver. He was born in 1927 in Agen.

From 1945, he studied at the Académie Julian in Paris where he learned drawing, sculpture and painting. Working in a studio in Montparnasse, he met his neighbors Constantin Brancusi, René Magritte, Salvador Dali and Jean Tinguely. 

In 1952, he made his first personal painting exhibition at the Cimaise Gallery.  

In 1956, he met Claude Lalanne, an artist of the same name. They got married and worked together, under the name « Les Lalanne ». In 1962, an exhibition entitled « Zoophytes » took place at the Jeanine Restany Gallery and presented their shared works. 

Animals, fruits and vegetables were the main subjects of their sculptures. They worked with numerous references: Upper Egypt, Art nouveau, Pre-Raphaelite painting and Surrealism. Unique and funny, their works met success with many collectors in Paris, like the Rothschild, the Noailles or even Yves Saint-Laurent who François-Xavier met during the decoration of the Dior store of the avenue Montaigne.  

The Lalanne were unclassifiable sculptors. Frequently hybrid, their works entertain and are filled with poetry, surrealism, plays on words, forms and materials. In their opinion, nature offers an infinite number of forms, becoming furniture, objects or jewelry. Animals are frequently presented in a decorative or in a humorous way. The Lalanne wished to combine beauty with utility, technique with creativity. François-Xavier Lalanne said : « when we can sit down on a work of art, it becomes more familiar ». 

The Lalanne couple received great public recognition. In 1991, the Castle of Chenonceau presented an exhibition called « Les Lalanne ». In 1998, the Paris Town Hall organized a retrospective at the Bagatelle Park, « Les Lalanne à Bagatelle ».
In 2010, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris devotes a retrospective exhibition to them. In 2021, in an enchanted universe and for many outdoor pieces, the works of François-Xavier Lalanne are exhibited in Versailles, where they enchant the Trianon, the groves and the Queen's Pavilion.

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