Ben Brown Fine Arts has opened Les Lalanne: Makers of Dreams, an extensive survey of the work of the late legendary French artistic duo François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne - known collectively as 'Les Lalanne.' Choreographed by famed Italian designer Manfredi della Gherardesca, this unprecedented body of over 100 works includes some of the most known pieces to date and will create a Les Lalanne magical menagerie spread across the iconic Mayfair locations, Ben Brown Fine Arts and newly opened Claridge's ArtSpace. Works include a life-size hippopotamus in blue resin which opens up to reveal a full bath suite, and a superbly detailed cabbage atop whimsical chickens' feet.
Ben Brown Fine Arts has exhibited the work of Les Lalanne for nearly two decades, yet this will mark their first show at the gallery following Claude's passing three years ago.
The enduring appeal of Les Lalanne lies in their playful ingenuity, taking inspiration from nature and creating from it a world of fantasy. Their works blur lines between functional design, fine art and the decorative arts, and are always suffused with surrealist associations, a characteristic wit and timeless elegance. Following the recent Les Lalanne exhibition at the Château de Versailles as well as the major retrospective at the Museé des Arts Décoratifs in 2010, this will be the most extensive grouping of major sculptures by the duo to be shown in a gallery setting. The exhibition follows on from record auction results last year at Sotheby's Paris, where the sale brought in €79.3 million ($92.6 million) on a high estimate of just €14.5 million ($16.76 million)-more than five times above the expected total (of the 81 lots, 96 percent sold above their high estimates, and 20 topped the €1 million ($1.15 million) mark).