Preview: 30-31 October 2020
François-Xavier Lalanne's elegant bronze Singe Avisé (Grand) is an iconic work from his oeuvre and epitomizes the outstanding practice of this celebrated sculptor. Here, François-Xavier's masterfully conveys a combination of mischievousness and stoicism in the monkey's classical contrapposto stance - a trademark of Lalanne's work, which contributes to the sculpture's approachability and compelling charm. Although the bestiary of François-Xavier is wide ranging and defies categorization, monkeys were a recurring and quintessential motif throughout his work, harkening back to the dignified Egyptian deities he once contemplated in his youth while working as a guard in the Egyptian and Assyrian art galleries at the Louvre. His rejection of geometrical abstraction, as well as of typically modernist design, comes from his decision to promote the tactile quality of his media. His sculptures get at 'the cubic truth', of which Rodin has spoken. He has created a unique fantasy, which remains today a leading example for urbanists and landscape architects.
In recent years has the work of 'Les Lalanne' achieved iconic status, propelled by the 2009 Christie's Paris sale of Yves Saint Laurent's collection and a major retrospective at Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris in 2010, curated by an ardent collector and admirer, Peter Marino. Their cult-like following has grown exponentially and now includes private collectors and luminaries from around the world such as Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, François Pinault and Bernard Arnault. The Lalannes' works are represented in many prominent collections around the world including the National Design Museum (New York), Museé Nationale d'Art Moderne/Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Cooper Hewitt Museum (New York) and Musée d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris).