Must See London Exhibition: Claridge’s + Ben Brown Present ‘Les Lalanne: Makers of Dreams’

Ken Scrudato for BalckBook Magazine

In an eerily similar instance, French sculptor Claude Lalanne passed away in 2019 (aged 95), outliving her husband and working partner François-Xavier Lalanne by eleven years – while Franco Bulgarian sculptor Christo shuffled off this mortal coil the following year, having outlived his wife and working partner Jeanne-Claude…by eleven years. Of course, the latter pair had gone on to monumental acclaim for their opinion-dividing, but always headline-grabbing public spectacles, like the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin, and The (bright orange) Gates project in New York’s Central Park.


But the couple operating under the plainly literal banner Les Lalanne did work that was just as scene-stealing, whilst also exhibiting a uniquely cagey sort of humor. The pair first came to notoriety when they received a commission from Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, for the designer’s autumn/winter 1969 haute couture presentation. They decisively entered the greater pop culture consciousness when Serge Gainsbourg purchased one of Claude’s sculptures, The man with the head of a cabbage, and used it for the cover and title of his 1976 album L’Homme à tête de chou.

July 1, 2022