Designed in a unique collaboration with world-renowned landscape architect Louis Benech, the presentation will kick off the year’s programming at Kasmin’s recently opened flagship gallery in Chelsea, New York.
Over thirty sculptures by Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne, each hand-picked by Benech, transform the interior of Kasmin’s newest gallery space in an installation featuring passageways reminiscent of the artists’ studio garden in Ury, France. The exhibition includes one of Claude’s rare chandeliers, Structure Vegetale avec Singes (2012), as well as a Miroir (2010)—a work from a series famously collected by Yves Saint Laurent for his “room of mirrors” in Paris. Francois-Xavier’s iconic monkeys (including Babouin (1984/1990) and the large-scale bronze Singe Avise (grand) (2005), a herd of the artist’s sheep, and his Oiseaux de Marbre (1974) chairs (originally made for legendary art dealer Alexander Iolas) explore the contrasting solidity that can be found in the natural world.
Louis Benech, who has designed the exhibition in collaboration with Kasmin and Claude Lalanne, says of his long-standing relationship with the artists: “I often had to work in places with sheep grazing, I mean, Lalanne’s sheep grazing—in Meautry, La Mormaire, Montfort-l’Amaury. Thereafter, I rapidly met Claude and François-Xavier. They were designing with a friend the Jardin des enfants above the forum des Halles, right behind the church of Saint-Eustache. One day, we left ad lib to Ury for dinner. I thus discovered the grace of Claude’s garden, with dogwoods, hostas, and self-sowing hogweeds—which she uses for her sculptures and jewels. From that moment on, we consistently saw each other at least two times a year. Most of the time during a plant fair in Courson. It was there that Claude and François-Xavier usually found the plants flourishing in their garden, adorning Claude’s table or setting themselves in bronze or brass for an eternity of happiness. I miss François-Xavier, but Claude’s fantasy and voice lift my spirits up and bring back in memory the unique bond uniting them.”