Ask AD100 designer Brian J. McCarthy about the work of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, and his sentences speed up with enjoyment. Aesthetes cant get enough of the surreal works of Les Lalanne, understood for their otherworldly nature-inspired sculptures that tread the line in between art and design. The Kasmin group tapped McCarthy in part due to his personal connection to Les Lalanne. He printed massive pictures of Les Lalannes Ury home that Kasmin shot for the biography, utilizing them as context for the works, which are set up on pedestals and on the floor.
Ask AD100 designer Brian J. McCarthy about the work of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, and his sentences speed up with enjoyment. “The numerous times that I went to the workshops in their home, it always struck me as being like Noahs Ark,” McCarthy says. “There was something so wonderfully alive about the experience.” Aesthetes cant get enough of the surreal works of Les Lalanne, understood for their transcendent nature-inspired sculptures that tread the line between art and design. Their oeuvre is extensive– from Claudes mirrors dripping in gilded flora to François-Xaviers multipurpose bronze monkeys– each piece is imbued with a quintessential lively spirit.McCarthy was called on to curate a program of the late artists work at Kasmin Gallery in New York, which opens September 10 on Tenth Avenue by visit. The Kasmin exhibit is the first posthumous revealing for the artists– Claude died in 2019, François-Xavier in 2008– and combines a variety of pieces from different periods of their practices. It likewise acts as a preview of sorts for the pairs first institutional U.S. program since 1966, which is set to open at the Clark Art Museum in spring 2021. The Kasmin group tapped McCarthy in part due to his personal connection to Les Lalanne. McCarthy cultivated a deep relationship with Claude, and dealt with her to produce many customized pieces for his customers. “I was definitely pleased,” he states of this brand-new curatorial endeavor. “Ive never done anything like this prior to, so it was an enjoyable, various sort of difficulty.” An unusual Lalanne owl sculpture. François-Xavier Lalanne, Chouette de Tourtour, 1992/2002, bronze.
Photo: Christopher StachBecome an AD PRO MemberBuy now for endless gain access to and all of the advantages that just members get to experience.ArrowAs an interior designer, McCarthy is no stranger to producing transportive spaces. For this show, he revamped the gallery into a rich dreamscape influenced by Claude and François-Xaviers famous countryside home and studio area in Ury, France. Rambling yet thick, with works pouring out of the studios and into the garden, their home in north-central France became synecdoche for the pairs creative approach: that there need not be a boundary in between art and life. As the late Paul Kasmin himself composed in Claude & & François-Xavier Lalanne (Skira Rizzoli), his biography on the set published in 2012, “After going through a pair of big wood gates, I immediately got in the world of Les Lalanne … The feeling of being swallowed in the Lalannes world is practically immediate; your home a vibrant workshop, the gardens a living museum.” McCarthy looked for to record this environment by avoiding the white-box gallery setting in favor of a dynamic garden-inspired background. He printed large-scale photographs of Les Lalannes Ury house that Kasmin shot for the biography, using them as context for the works, which are set up on pedestals and on the floor. He also painted some walls an abundant green with abstract branch motifs, like a forest. “Weve produced this sort of wooded background in the main part of the gallery thats in shades of green,” McCarthy describes. “So youre truly going to be strolling into this world of Lalanne in a different way than the gallery and museum experience.”