Gazette Drouot logo print

Lalanne: Like a Fish in His Element

Published on , by Claire Papon and Sophie reyssat
Auction on 16 December 2022 - 13:30 (CET) - Salle 2 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009

Collectors are sure to take the bait for François-Xavier Lalanne, Chaïm Soutine and Bram Van Velde.

François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), Pike, 1973, hammered and patinated metal cigar... Lalanne: Like a Fish in His Element

François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), Pike, 1973, hammered and patinated metal cigar case, with a flap revealing pivoting wooden drawers, numbered 9/50 and monogrammed, l. 95 cm/37.4 in approx.
Estimate: €150,000/200,000

This sale has a wealth of key works, starting with L'Arbre dans le vent, or Avant l'orage (The Wind in the Trees or Before the Storm), occupying the entire space of a painting by Chaïm Soutine, which made the cover of Gazette no. 43. Painted on Isorel in c.1939, it comes from the collection of Madeleine Castaing, whose Paris apartment furniture is coming up for auction. This piece will be sold for the benefit of several charities (68.5 x 87 cm/27 x 34.3 in, €200,000/300,000). Our readers will also have seen a striking 1960 painting by Bram Van Velde, which belonged to Jacques Putman before changing hands (183 x 103 cm/72 x 103 in, €300,000/400,000).

The same goes for this Brochet (Pike) (see photo) by François-Xavier Lalanne, and his Tortue (Tortoise) in gilt brass (13 x 26 x 19 cm/5.1 x 10.2 x 7.5 in, €30,000/40,000), each dated 1973. Both works are typical of the sculptor's Surrealist inspiration: the fish conceals cigar drawers in its entrails, while the reptile is reduced to the simple expression of its shell, evoking a helmet, in an analogy René Magritte would have appreciated. The artist subverted the forms of fish on several occasions, from his Grande carpe (Large Carp) of 1972 serving as a table, which became Carpe d'or (Golden Carp) in 1987, to his Poisson-bibliothèque (Bookcase-Fish) of 1986 forming bookends, not forgetting his Poisson-paysage (Landscape Fish) of the following year, in whose body he made an opening like a window on the world. He created a variant in 1994, where the cavity of the animal, set on a stone base, contains a small golden fish. Resonating as a tribute to one of his favorite creatures, this work is suitably enthroned at the entrance to the Evolution Gallery at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

Friday 16 December 2022 - 13:30 (CET) - Live
Salle 2 - Hôtel Drouot - 75009
Christophe Joron Derem
Gazette Drouot
Welcome La Drouot Gazette offers you 2 Articles.
You still have 1 article(s) left to read.
I subscribe