Sculpting Paradise: The Collection Of Marie Lalanne

An unmatched sale of Les Lalanne. The auction begins at 10 am on 7 December 2022.

December 7 at 10 am, Christie’s will present the live sale of Sculpting Paradise: The Collection of Marie Lalanne. This auction comprises a selection of exceptional works of art created by the iconic Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, two of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. The items come to Christie’s directly from the private collection of Marie Lalanne, the artist’s daughter.

The auction offers more than 150 lots, including sculptures, furniture, jewellery, handbags, dinner services, and more. It is the largest collection of Les Lalanne ever to be sold in the United States.

Daphné Riou, Senior Specialist and Head of Design, at Christie’s Americas, comments, “Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne were among the most powerful voices of the 20th century, standing alongside Brancusi, Max Ernst, and Yves Klein as singular luminaries from the Impasse Ronsin who together defined an entire generation of artistry.

Les Lalanne saw the world through a unique lens, mixing a Surrealist beauty with witticism and strength in the artworks they created, both together and separately. The timelessness of their art is undeniable. We are honoured and humbled to have the opportunity to showcase this phenomenal group of objects that come directly from the collection of the artist’s daughter, Marie Lalanne.”

The sale contains deeply personal artwork, some by François-Xavier, some by Claude, and some by the pair. One leading highlight by François-Xavier is Gorille Consolé, which is estimated at $1,000,000-1,500,000. This example carries with it the signature humour of the artist—the title is a play on the notion that gorillas are inconsolable by the fact that they will never be fully human. Here, the gorilla has chosen to console himself by becoming a console table.

Among the many highlights by Claude is La Dormeuse, estimated at $100,000-150,000. This fantastic sculpture carries with it a dream-like mysticism that displays Claude’s Surrealist whimsy. In creating it, Claude combined two techniques, her celebrated galvanoplasty (a process of transforming organic objects into metal through an electrolytic bath) and mould-making of the human form.

Another divine highlight that conveys Claude’s fascination with the wonders of nature is the Orchidée Necklace, estimated at $5,000-7,000. This example stands among the many exquisite pieces of jewellery by Claude that are present in the sale, demonstrative of the breadth and scope of her unique talent and voice as a designer and artist.

Sculpting Paradise offers examples featured in major institutional exhibitions including Les Lalanne at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris in 2010; Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed at the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts in 2021; and Les Lalanne à Trianon at the Château de Versailles, also in 2021.

The entire collection will be on view at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries beginning December 2, with L’Enlèvement d’Europe on display on Rockefeller Plaza. The exhibition will take place alongside viewings for three additional Design sales as well as New York Luxury Week; all are open through December 9.

Notable Highlights

Sculpting Paradise: The Collection Of Marie Lalanne
CLAUDE LALANNE (1925-2019)
Très Grand Choupatte, 2014
gilt bronze
$1,000,000-1,500,000
Sculpting Paradise: The Collection Of Marie Lalanne
FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE (1927-2008)
Les Trois Grands Moutons de Peter, 2007
gilt bronze
$1,500,000-2,000,000
Sculpting Paradise: The Collection Of Marie Lalanne
CLAUDE LALANNE (1925-2019)
Pair of Gui Earrings, designed circa 1985
gilt silver, faux pearls
$2,000-3,000
Sculpting Paradise: The Collection Of Marie Lalanne
FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE (1927-2008)
Gorille Consolé, 2014
gilt bronze
$1,000,000-1,500,000
Sculpting Paradise: The Collection Of Marie Lalanne
CLAUDE LALANNE (1925-2019)
Orchidée Necklace, designed circa 1980
silver
$5,000-7,000
Christies

editor

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had auction sales in the first half of 2019 that totalled £2.2 billion / $2.8 billion. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and international expertise. Christie’s offers around 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectables, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War & Contemporary, Impressionist & Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery.