The magical world of Claude Lalanne


Claude Lalanne (b.1924) takes the natural world as her source of imagery with this fabulous chandelier in bronze, and although technically it is a light it seems more like sculpture. Her unique combination of surrealism and romanticism make her fabulous designs instantly recognizable – and infinitely covetable! Her work is joyful and playful and carries with it a true poetry.

Along with her husband Francois-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008) the Lalannes first attracted attention in Paris in the 1960s through flamboyant commissions from Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé. The couple’s first exhibition in 1964 however, ”wasn’t valued at all,” Ms. Lalanne says. “The critics completely ignored us; for them, us making sculptures which had a use was a complete nonsense”.

“They are not furniture, they are not sculpture – call them Lalannes”, the couple said of their work.

I have always found their practical unpretentious approach hugely refreshing in their ability to desacralize art and design while creating whimsical and creative masterpieces. This light speaks of Ms Lalanne’s joy in life.

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