Talking Avant-Garde: The Sculpting Paradise collection by Francois & Claude Lalanne converses with exclusive art pieces at Kering

The renowned auction house Christie’s partnered with luxury conglomerate Kering to present 20th century sculptures from the personal collection of Marie Lalanne, alongside curated pieces from Pinault Collection by a 21st century Belgian artist, Edith Dekyndt, at the 400-year-old Laennec Hospital in Paris, which is now the headquarter of Kering Group. Intrigued yet?

By: Tripti Jangpangi 

Posted on: November 9, 2022

Christie’s unveiled 15 exceptional pieces by Claude and Francois Xavier Lalanne from the collection of the artist's daughter Madame Marie Lalane in Paris at the former Laennec Hospital, which is the current headquarter of Kering and Maison Balenciaga in Paris, that will lead the auction house’s Sculpting Paradise sale in New York on December 7, 2022. The preview featured a selection of the artist's most important work, followed by a global tour including Los Angeles, Dubai and Hong Kong, eventually to be sold at Christie’s New York Rockefeller Center in December.

Lalanne Sculptures at Christie's
Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Les Trois Grand Moutons de Peter, 2007.  

Francois Xavier and Claude Lalanne are considered as one of the most influential French sculptors of the 20th century and were massively influenced by the surrealist movement led by René Magritte and Salvatore Dali. They were often lovingly referred to as Les Lalanne, as the couple always presented their artwork together.
Staged outdoors in Kering’s historical central courtyard, the works of the legendary Lalannes come alive within the ephemeral setting of the historical building. When you enter the gates of Laennec, you can’t help noticing the giant “Poisson Paysage'' with a giant window inside the sculpture, through which you can see the main hall of the famous ancient hospital, as if opening a door to another world.

Kering Headquarters Paris
Kering headquarters, Paris.  

Alex Hemminway, Christie’s International Head of Design explained, “Christie’s has had the privilege of presenting works by Les Lalanne across the past three decades; despite that long commitment to the artist’s market, preternatural work, which stands outside of nature, continues to startle with its ingenuity and profound poetry. It is an honor to be working on behalf of Madame Marie Lalanne to bring her historic collection to the public.”
Francois Xavier Lalanne’s work effortlessly exudes dexterity of an architect expressing life around him, like the almost 7 feet tall La Grande Ourse bronze sculpture or the Trois Grands Moutons de Peter (estimated 500 000 - 700 000 EUR). Claude Lalanne harmonised the living realm with a whimsical surrealism as in Très Grand Choupette or her Williamsburg series of chairs and benches or the Petite Olympe fountain revealing the couple's fascination with mythology.

Lalanne Sculptures at Christie's
Claude Lalanne, Petite Olympe Fountain, 2003.  

Christie’s also partnered with Kering to host a specially curated exhibition, Aria of Inertia, by a Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt at this exceptional heritage site of the former Leannec hospital in collaboration with the European Heritage Days.
As a part of Women In Motion, a program initiated by Kering aimed at giving a platform to talented women in the field of arts and culture, Ms. Dekyndt presented her exceptional art work alongside a selection of pieces from Pinault Collection, a project specifically developed for Laennec, where she summons water, earth air, light, wine, blood.
Ms. Dekyndt works with a minimalist approach, honing singular and discrete movements, which are then isolated, magnified, or repeated. She explains, “Each situation acts as the trigger for a process of “contexture”, providing opportunity for both sensory and mental investment in an environment.” 

Lalanne Sculptures at Christie's
Claude Lalanne, Pomme de Jardin, 2014.  

In 2000, the artist travelled to the arctic to explode bottles of spa mineral water in open air and carefully embedded the thousand pieces of broken window glass over a fabric famously known as Scrunch. This year she unveils “Underground” (Le val St. Germain, 2022), a 630 X 700 cm vertical blue cotton canvas, after having been buried for several months in a wood in Val Saint Germain capturing the transformation of an object in interaction with the living matter.
Highlights from the Sculpting Paradise Collection will be presented in Los Angeles and Dubai, while holograms of the sculptures will be showcased in Hong Kong prior to the sale in New York on December 7. 

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