A creation from François-Xavier Lalanne’s witty bestiary dominated this auction’s 20th-century tone.
François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008), La Carpe d'Or (The Golden Carp), resin covered in gold leaf, numbered 53/250, Artcurial edition, h. 30, l. 56 cm.
La Carpe d'Or (The Golden Carp), a 1987 work by François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008) presented here in an Artcurial edition in gilded resin and numbered 53/250, had no trouble swimming in the big auction pool: it fetched €65,688. Lalanne seemed to like carp, which abound in freshwater pools, for they inspired some of his furniture – a sideboard in 1972 – sculpture for interior decoration and even a monumental work intended for a public space: Great Carp in Monaco’s Fontvieille Port in 1996. To magnify the cyprinid and give it verve, here he applied a golden patina, a masterstroke. The piece stole the show from Arman's Romeo and Juliet, a combustion of broken cellos trapped in Plexiglas. Though unique and from a private collection, it did not find a buyer.