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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Paris

  • Literature

    Daniel Abadie, Lalanne(s), Paris, 2008, p. 188
    Paul Kasmin, ed., Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Art. Work. Life., New York, 2012, n.p.
    Adrian Dannatt, François-Xavier & Claude Lalanne: In the Domain of Dreams, New York, 2018, pp. 86, 180-81, 192

  • Catalogue Essay

    The present ‘Agneau’ by acclaimed French sculptor François-Xavier Lalanne is an iconic example of his whimsical animal themed body of work. The sculpture is made of epoxy stone and patinated bronze, allowing it to be displayed outdoors as well as indoors.

    Lalanne’s first sheep sculptures were covered in wool and part of a 1966 installation titled Pour Polyphème shown at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture in the Musée d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris. Blurring the lines between the decorative and the functional, twenty white sheep and four black sheep were displayed in the centre of the room where spectators and artists were invited to sit and lie down. The show was a great success and consolidated Lalanne’s associations with Surrealist themes. In the 1990s, the artist added a ram and lambs to complete the family of animals. The present model is part of the ‘Nouveaux Moutons’ series, a continuation of his work closely linked to naturalistic forms, which aimed to bring sculpture into the day-to-day environments such as the living room or the garden.

    Born in Agen in 1927, François-Xavier Lalanne began his artistic career as a painter before turning his practice towards sculpture in the early 1950s. This shift was partly influenced by his first wife, the great grandniece of French sculptor François Pompon, author of the ‘Ours Blanc’ sculpture whose minimal lines would be an early source of inspiration. In his Montparnasse studio, Lalanne was also neighbours with Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși who would have a further impact on his work. Beyond his independent designs, Lalanne’s marriage to his second wife Claude resulted in a prolific creative partnership and the production of many unique pieces including commissions by art collectors and enthusiasts including Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent.

    A model of the present lot was exhibited earlier this year in the garden of the Palace of Versailles as part of the exhibition Les Lalanne à Trianon.

207

'Agneau', from the 'Nouveaux Moutons' series

designed 1996, executed 2006
Epoxy stone, patinated bronze.
51.8 x 59.5 x 17 cm (20 3/8 x 23 3/8 x 6 3/4 in.)
Produced by Blanchet-Landowski, Bagnolet, France. Number 247 from the edition of 500. Underside impressed Blanchet/Fondeur/2006/247 / 500/ fxl.

Estimate
£120,000 - 220,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £403,200

Contact Specialist

Antonia King
Head of Sale, Design
[email protected]

Design

London Auction 9 November 2021