THE MITTERRAND GALLERY – DESIGN MIAMI / PARIS, from 17 to 22 October 2023
DESIGN MIAMI PARIS
17 > 22 OCTOBER 2023
For the first edition of Design Miami Paris, Galerie Mitterrand will be bringing together works by the artist couple François-Xavier and Claude Lalanne. The exhibition will feature a masterpiece by François-Xavier Lalanne, l’Âne Attelé, a piece conceived in 1989, as well as a unique Choupatte by Claude Lalanne dating from the 1960s.
The donkey is a key figure in the François-Xavier Lalanne bestiary, an animal that accompanied the artist’s career from the 1970s until his death. The very first donkey, entitled Âne de Pompadour, was created by the artist for friends in 1973. This humorous, poetic work, part sculpture, part secretary, was as much an allusion to the famous Rhinocrétaire created a few years earlier as it was to the traditional donkey-backed desk, a classic form in the French decorative arts.
This formal game was then repeated several times by François Xavier Lalanne, who created Nathalie’s Donkey (l’Âne de Nathalie – 2007), based on the 1973 model, but this time in bronze; a Stamped Donkey (Âne Bâté – 1985), equipped with saddlebags that open to serve as a bookcase or secretary; a Planted Donkey (Âne Planté – 1990), whose saddlebags can be used as planters; and the Stroke Donkey, exhibited at Design Miami Paris this year. This donkey was designed for the Georges-Brassens park in Paris’s 15th arrondissement. Equipped with a cart that can also be used as a planter, it was exhibited at the Château de Chenonceau in 1991 and at the Château de Versailles in 2021. Other smaller versions were also created by François-Xavier Lalanne.
Le Choupatte is one of Claude Lalanne’s earliest works. It is with this work that the artist expresses most virtuously the use of the electroplating technique, which consists of immersing cabbage leaves in an electrolytic bath to obtain copper imprints. A Choupatte was presented at the artists’ first exhibition
at Jeanine Restany’s Galerie J in 1964. A few years later, Claude Lalanne produced this Choupatte for his gallery owner Alexandre Iolas, and it was acquired by an American collection.
These exceptional works will be accompanied by other major pieces by the couple, including a Pair de Singes Alternatifs, the unmissable Singe Allumé and une Lanterne.
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