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Exploring Surreal Harmony in Les Lalanne’s Zoophites Exhibition

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Step into the whimsical world of Les Lalanne’s Zoophites exhibition at Kasmin in New York, where art merges seamlessly with functionality, and nature intertwines with imagination. Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, collectively known as Les Lalanne, captivate viewers with their surreal sculptures that blur the lines between animal and botanical forms.


In Zoophites, the Lalannes’ sculptures transcend mere artistic expression, embodying a profound connection between humanity and the natural world. François-Xavier’s “Grand Chat polymorph” stands tall as a ten-foot feline with wings and a tail fin, cleverly concealing a fully functional bar cart within its whimsical design. Similarly, a bull sculpture doubles as a desk, showcasing the Lalannes’ penchant for merging utility with artistry.

While François-Xavier often drew inspiration from the animal kingdom, Claude’s focus leaned towards botanical elements. Her “Les Berces adossées” bench, adorned with oversized ginkgo leaves, exemplifies her affinity for the plant world. Despite working separately, the Lalannes’ rare collaborations, such as “Gorille consolé,” seamlessly blend their distinct artistic styles, creating harmonious compositions that celebrate the beauty of nature.


The exhibition’s title, Zoophites, harkens back to a bygone term referring to organisms displaying characteristics of both animals and plants—a fitting descriptor for the Lalannes’ fantastical sculptures. Drawing from ancient mythology and their own imaginations, the artists breathe life into their creations, inviting viewers into a realm where imagination knows no bounds.

However, the Lalannes’ innovative approach to art and art design and functionality was not always met with acceptance in the traditional art world. Classified as “decorative arts,” their pieces challenged conventional notions of fine art, yet their undeniable creativity and craftsmanship ultimately transcended categorization.


Zoophites serves as a homage to Les Lalanne’s enduring legacy, showcasing their timeless creations that continue to captivate audiences worldwide. Through their whimsical sculptures, the Lalannes remind us of the beauty and wonder found in the natural world, urging us to embrace the interconnectedness of all living beings.


As visitors wander through the exhibition, they are transported into a surreal dreamscape where animals roam freely amidst lush foliage, blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy. Les Lalanne’s Zoophites exhibition is a testament to the transformative power of art, inviting viewers to explore the boundless possibilities of creativity and imagination.

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