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French, born 1924
Claude Lalanne is recognized for creating imaginative bronze objects that straddle the line between the fine and decorative arts. Working closely with her husband, Francois-Xavier Lalanne, she has produced a diverse body of sculptural work ranging from large-scale animal figures to furniture fashioned after tree branches and other vegetation, as in Banc (model Ginkgo) (2003). By adding artful aspects to functional objects, she aims to enrich life by injecting art into the everyday. Lalanne and her husband chose not embrace the abstraction that pervaded the mid-20th century art world, preferring to represent real life subjects (for Claude, typically some form of plant life) in a manner often regarded as surreal. This approach has won her great acclaim, and her work has been widely collected, including by Yves Saint Laurent, who commissioned Lalanne to create a mirrored room with vine-like moldings for his home.