Les Lalanne: Sculpting Paradise

31 Dec 2023



Join Christie’s Education this Winter for our New York class: Les Lalanne: Sculpting Paradise

In conjunction with the landmark sale of Sculpting Paradise: The Collection of Marie Lalanne taking place in New York on December 7th, Christie’s Education presents Les Lalanne: Sculpting Paradise – the webinar.

Marie Lalanne, a French-American painter, is deeply committed to sharing the work of her parents with a new and expanding generation of admirers around the world. Join us for a conversation between Dr Kathleen Morris, the Sylvia and Leonard Marx Director of Collections and Exhibitions, and Curator of Decorative Arts at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Alex Heminway, Senior Vice-President and International Head of Design at Christie’s New York.

Participants will gain in-depth knowledge on the artist couple’s strikingly different working methods and treatment of materials, along with an intimate sense of the day-to-day goings-on at their famed ateliers in Ury. This session furthermore presents an exploration of Les Lalanne’s artistic collaborations, and the relationship they enjoyed with their subjects – which ranged from animals, nature (or rather, one might suggest, the super-natural), and how their vision of functionality within art became an important hallmark of their legacy, today.

The session is accompanied by rarely-seen archival imagery and complemented by highlights from the upcoming sale Sculpting Paradise: The Collection of Marie Lalanne.


About the Artists:


A fierce agent of visual poetry, Claude Lalanne (1925-2019) cleaved animals and plants and reassembled them as supernatural totems. Although rooted in both Surrealism and Pop Art, two of the twentieth century’s key artistic movements, her Très Grand Choupatte and Petite Olympe fountain, among her most emblematic works, roam freely outside of category, time, or nature. 


The creations of François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), whether Poisson Paysage or La Grande Ourse, both included in the December sale, manifest in their clearly articulated forms the rigor of his vision for an imaginary world, which, unlike the misty demesnes of antiquity, we can inhabit, albeit as awed spectators. 


About the Sale:

Christie's is honored to present Sculpting Paradise: The Collection of Marie Lalanne, which comprises exceptional works of art by her parents, the paradigm-shifting French sculptors Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne. A global tour will precede Christie’s New York sale on 7 December, the first auction of its kind in the United States.   

Marie Lalanne, a French-American painter, is deeply committed to sharing the work of her parents with a new and expanding generation of admirers around the world. On view to collectors in Fall 2022, the international previews in Paris, Los Angeles, Dubai, and Hong Kong will feature a selection of the artist’s most emblematic works drawn from the approximately 200 lots to be sold in December. 

Among the highlights from the sale are examples previously featured in major institutional exhibitions including Les Lalanne at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris in 2010; Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed at the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts in 2021; and Les Lalanne à Trianon at the Château de Versailles, also in 2021. 

Sculpting Paradise: The Collection of Marie Lalanne will tour to the below locations and will conclude with a viewing exhibition of all lots at Rockefeller Center in New York, 2-7 December 2022.


To watch the webinar please click here.


Image: Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne at Ury, 1970 (Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne at Ury, 1970. Photo: Edouard Boubat)