Acclaimed for his surreal animal sculptures, Francois-Xavier Lalanne worked closely with his wife, Claude Lalanne, producing curious objects that blur the distinction between fine and decorative art. The Lalannes rejected the abstract styles popular during the mid-20th century, choosing to represent the flora and fauna of the natural world instead. While Claude preferred plant life, Francois-Xavier favoured animals, creating works that, like Carpe (petite) (1987), add an artful element to daily domestic experience. Lalanne also created large-scale outdoor and public sculptures in which animals such as bulls, sheeps, and gorillas are modelled in larger-than-life proportions, cast in bronze, and installed in locations ranging from rural backyards to bustling city streets. Whether inside or outside, Lalanne's works echo his belief that “the supreme art is the art of living."

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