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French Sculptor Claude Lalanne Dead at 93

Claude Lalanne.
COURTESY BEN BROWN FINE ART

French sculptor Claude Lalanne has died at age 93. Known most widely for work in the collaborative duo Les Lalanne with her husband, Francois-Xavier Lalanne (who died in 2008), Claude Lalanne made whimsical and surreal sculptures that play with nature and the animal kingdom by way of techniques including electroplating and traditional casting. Her works have been lauded in the worlds of art as well as fashion: Yves Saint Laurent collaborated with her for a collection in 1969, for which Lalanne created a bust of German model Veruschka von Lehndorff.

Next summer, the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, will stage an exhibition of work by Les Lalanne. Paul Kasmin, who has represented the artist in North America since 2004, said in a statement, “I am incredibly sad to lose a great friend and artist. I was always fascinated by my many, many visits to her and her family’s magical world.”

Lalanne has been represented since 2007 by London’s Ben Brown Fine Arts, which has hosted seven exhibitions of her work. In a release, Brown said, “Claude was a visionary whose imagination seemingly knew no bounds, and the sensitivity and sense of humor evident in her works has enamored all who encounter it. I am very proud to have been entrusted with not only her sculptures but her friendship over the last two decades.”

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