Published by Artcurial, Paris. Provenance: Galerie Artcurial, Paris; private collection, Lower Saxony.


This elegant black marble cat with yellow eyes is a characteristic example of the surrealist works of François-Xavier Lalanne, which are always inspired by flora and fauna. He created bizarre but undeniably poetic sculptures of animals such as sheep, monkeys, frogs, cats, hippos and rhinos. Lalanne abstracted the forms of the animals depicted to create stylised designs, sometimes adapted for functional use in a humorous way. At his first exhibition in Paris in 1952 he primarily showed paintings, but it was there that he met the sculptor Claude Dupeux, his future wife. The couple began working together on hybrid creations between sculptures and everyday objects. In the future they introduced themselves as “Les Lalanne”. The two artists each developed their own works, but shared a common universe inspired by the animal and plant world, and often exhibited together. Works by the two have been acquired by major collectors such as Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé and the Rothschilds and are exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. The retrospective organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2010 was one of the duo’s last major exhibitions.

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