May 11, 2022 12:00 EST

Modern and Contemporary Art

 
Lot 30
 

30

François-Xavier Lalanne (French, 1927-2008)
Mouton de Pierre

Designed in 1979, executed in 1990, signed 'FxL', stamped 'LALANNE' and numbered '161/250' under the chin; also dated '90' and signed 'LALANNE' on the underside. Epoxy stone and patinated bronze.
height: 34 in. (86.4cm)
width: 15 3/4 in. (40cm)
depth: 36 3/4 in. (93.3cm)

Provenance

Collection of Charles Graham Berwind Jr., Pennsylvania (by repute acquired directly from the artist circa 1990s).
By descent in the family.
Private Collection, Pennsylvania.

Sold for $378,000
Estimated at $100,000 - $150,000


 
Designed in 1979, executed in 1990, signed 'FxL', stamped 'LALANNE' and numbered '161/250' under the chin; also dated '90' and signed 'LALANNE' on the underside. Epoxy stone and patinated bronze.
height: 34 in. (86.4cm)
width: 15 3/4 in. (40cm)
depth: 36 3/4 in. (93.3cm)

Provenance

Collection of Charles Graham Berwind Jr., Pennsylvania (by repute acquired directly from the artist circa 1990s).
By descent in the family.
Private Collection, Pennsylvania.

Literature

Les Lalanne, an exhibition catalogue, Galerie Christian Fayt Art, Knokke-Heist, 1984, pl. 20 (another example illustrated).

Claude et François-Xavier Lalanne, an exhibition catalogue, Galerie des Ponchettes, 1985, pp. 36 and 37 (another example illustrated)
Lalanne, ab exhibition catalogue, Plaza of the Americas, Dallas, 1986, p. 2 (another example illustrated).

Les Lalanne. Claude et François-Xavier Lalanne, an exhibition catalogue, Marisa Del Re Gallery, New-York, 1988, n. p. (another example illustrated on the cover).

Daniel Marchesseau, Les Lalanne, Paris: Flammarion, 1998, pp. 34-36, 146 (other examples illustrated).

Robert Rosenblum, Les Lalanne, Geneva: Skira, 1991, pp. 76, 122, 124, 127 (other examples illustrated).

Daniel Abadie, Lalanne(s), Paris: Flammarion, 2008, pp. 186, 187, 190, 191, 322, 325, 326, 335 (other examples illustrated).

Les Lalanne at Fairchild, an exhibition catalogue., New York: Paul Kasmin Gallery; and Coral Gables: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 2010, pp. 6, and 8 (other examples illustrated).

Paul Kasmin, Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Art, Work, Life, New York: Skira Rizzoli, 2012, pp. 85 and 178 (other examples illustrated).

Adrian Dannatt, et al., Les Lalanne: Fifty Years of Work 1964-2015, an exhibition catalogue, New York: Paul Kasmin Gallery, 2015, pp. 77, 88- 89, 106-108 (other examples illustrated).

Adrian Dannatt, François-Xavier & Claude Lalanne: In the Domain of Dreams, New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2018, pp. 18, 84-89, 181, 192-193, 210 (other examples illustrated).

Note

Les Lalanne – the co-creating husband and wife artists François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008) and Claude Lalanne (1925-2019) – are best remembered for their unique, amusing and surrealist take on the animal kingdom. Among the creatures that inspired them most, aside from the gorilla, the hippopotamus, and the rhinoceros, were the sheep.

François-Xavier Lalanne presented his first sheep creations in 1966 at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in Paris, twenty-four wooly creatures, some with bronze faces and some without heads. The sheep could serve as a bed, a sofa, or a chair and visitors were invited to interact with them in the gallery. As Lalanne himself described them: “The sheep in a Parisian apartment: it's a bit of the ‘countryside in Paris.’ It's always easier to have a sculpture in an apartment than a real sheep. And it's even better if we can sit on it." By presenting the flock in a painting show, and making sure every visitor would leave with this striking image in mind, Lalanne boldly blurred the lines between painting and sculpture. Through an ordinary, common animal, he revolutionized the art establishment: “I wanted to do something very intrusive, because if you present a small object, no one sees it (…) This idea of a herd struck me as a peaceful idea (…)”

After the success of the 1966 installation, Lalanne designed another model of his famous sheep in 1979. After moutons de laine ("wooly sheep"), he created moutons de pierre (“stone sheep”) made of patinated (cast) bronze and epoxy stone – as exemplified here. Such new material added versatility, which could now be alternatively exhibited in a domestic interior or grazing outdoors in a grassy field.

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