Makers of Dreams: Ben Brown on the enduring legacy of Les Lalanne and stepping into their visionary wonderland

Ben Brown interviewed by John-Paul Pryor for House Collective
The late François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne, collectively known as Les Lalanne, were one of the most prolific artistic duos of the 20th century, devoting their shared lives to the creation of a surreal wonderland, populated by dreamlike welded sculptures that effortlessly transform furniture into fine art, and vice versa. Makers of Dreams currently showing at Ben Brown Fines Arts is the first major retrospective of the French artists' work in over a decade, coming three years after the passing of Claude Lalanne and curated by the brilliant interior designer Manfredi Della Gherardesca, who sadly also shed this mortal coil soon after the show opened. As such, the closing weeks of this exhibition provide a truly rare opportunity, not only to see some of the most important works ever produced by Les Lelanne, but also to step into a visionary curatorial vision that presents a dreamlike equilibrium of the couple’s works across both Ben Brown’s Fine Art and Claridges’ Art Space – the flagship gallery taking on the guise of a dreamy nocturnal sky; the bright white walls of Claridge’s Art Space providing a more heavenly canvas. Here, Ben Brown, the longtime exhibitor, friend and confidante of both Les Lalanne and Manfredi, gives Culture Collective a unique insight into the creative drive behind one of the most iconic artistic partnerships of modern history.
July 12, 2022