MAY 8–OCTOBER 31, 2021


The imaginative and expertly crafted art of Claude Lalanne (1925–2019) and François-Xavier Lalanne (1927–2008) reflects their belief that the human, animal, and vegetal worlds share a profound kinship. Throughout their long careers they looked to nature for inspiration, creating sculpture, furniture, and other works that morph natural objects into unexpected inventions that play with the boundaries between form and function. The married couple rarely collaborated on objects, but from 1966 on they referred to themselves jointly as “Les Lalanne” and to their works as “Lalannes.” They always exhibited together and over many years created a rich and diverse body of work. Both artists were prolific; François-Xavier was active up to his death in 2008, after which Claude continued to work in her studio every day through the rest of her life. This is the first American art museum exhibition dedicated to the couple in over forty years, and the first museum exhibition since the death of Claude in April 2019. The selection of work focuses on the ways both artists transformed nature through surreal combinations of flora and fauna, shifts of scale, and flights of fancy, creating hybrid objects that are at once sculptural and, often, functional. Combining technical expertise with wild inventiveness, the Lalannes created art that celebrates the world in which we live.

Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed is organized by the Clark Art Institute and curated by Kathleen M. Morris, Marx Director of Collections and Exhibitions and curator of decorative arts.

Major support for Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne: Nature Transformed is provided by Denise Littlefield Sobel. Significant funding is provided by Sylvia and Leonard Marx and by the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, with additional support from Jeannene Booher, Agnes Gund, and Robert D. Kraus. The exhibition catalogue has been published with the generous support of Denise Littlefield Sobel, with additional support from the Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund and Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund.