French Sculptors Invade Florida Botanic Garden

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French sculptors Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne took over Florida’s celebrated Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden last week with an installation of more than 20 of their surrealistic and animal-inspired sculptures. Presented in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach, the whimsical works are spread throughout the highly cultivated Coral Gables institution’s grounds, where they will remain on view through May 2011.

The bronze and stainless steel pieces by the modernist couple (Claude was born in 1924 and remains active, while François-Xavier was born in 1927 and died in 2008) are sited on the garden’s marvelous vistas, in its tranquil fountains and ponds, and amongst its encyclopedic collection of exotic palms, cycads, cacti, and flowering plants. From cows and fish with windows cut into the bodies to stylized gorillas, owls, sharks, and bears, Les Lalanne, as the collective is commonly known, transform the beauty and serenity of the botanic garden into a place for new discoveries and imaginary adventures.

Click through below for a selection of images.

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Vache Paysage (La Grande), 2006, Bronze, 49 5/8 x 84 5/8 x 31 1/2 inches, 126 x 215 x 80 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Singe Avise (Tres Grand), 2008, Bronze 78 3/4 x 55 1/8 x 55 1/8 inches, 200 x 140 x 140 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Claude & Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Dimetrodon II, 1998, a unique copper, steel, and stainless steel topiary with internal attachment for house to spout water, 65 x 159 x 29 inches, 165.1 x 403.9 x 73.7 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Claude Lalanne, Nouveau Lapin de Victoire (grand), 2010, bronze, 94 1/2 x 45 1/4 x 25 1/4 inches, 222 x 93 x 79 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, La Grande Ourse, 1994, Bronze, 84 x 39 x 38 7/8 inches, 213.5 x 99 x 98.8 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Claude Lalanne, Crocodile (Banc), 2003, Bronze and brass, 17 3/4 x 77 4/7 x 18 1/9 inches, 45 x 197 x 46 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Poisson Paysage V, 2007, Bronze, 33 1/4 x 120 1/10 x 33 1/4 inches, 84 1/2 x 305 x 84 1/2 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Moutons, 1988-94, epoxy stone and bronze, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, La Grande Ourse, 1994, Bronze, 84 x 39 x 38 7/8 inches, 213.5 x 99 x 98.8 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Lievre de Maillac I (fontaine), 2006, bronze , 28 x 8 1/4 x 18 1/2 inches, 71 x 21 x 47 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Requin (grand), 2006, Bronze, 55 1/10 x 138 1/2 x 52 inches, 140 x 352 x 132 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

Francois-Xavier Lalanne, Wapiti (grand), 1996, bronze , 93 5/7 x 59 1/2 x 50 inches, 238 x 151 x 127 cm, Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York