Objects of Desire

The Wick - François-Xavier Lalanne, Mouton de Laine, (designed c.1965, executed 2000)

Art Mouton de Laine, François-Xavier Lalanne (designed c.1965, executed 2000)

François-Xavier Lalanne’s iconic ‘moutons de laines’ lend a touch of spring all year around. His fluffy faux livestock were first created in the 1960s for the Parisian apartment he shared with his artist wife, Claude. They were subsequently displayed in the entrance to the Palais de Tokyo’s salon entrance hall, since which they have become recognised as the artist’s signature work.

Over the decades, Lalanne’s sheep sculptures have been variously commissioned by such eminent figures as Yves Saint Laurent co-founder Pierre Bergé, architect Peter Marino and garden designer Madison Cox. ‘Having a sheep in your living room, as opposed to an armchair or a wood bench, is just pure fun,’ Cox described. But their whimsical appeal costs dearly: in 2011, a group of ten sheep sold for just under $7.5 million at Christie’s.


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