Sotheby's Boosts Private S|2 Sales With London Hires, NYC Lalanne Show

Sotheby's Boosts Private S|2 Sales With London Hires, NYC Lalanne Show
François-Xavier Lalanne, "Moutons de Laine (Troupeau de 3)," conceived in 1965 and executed in 1974
(© Sotheby's)

Sotheby’s is revving up private sales through its S|2 selling exhibition platform with two major announcements this morning: the appointment of a new director of its new, purpose-built S|2 gallery in London; and a major upcoming selling exhibition of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne at its private New York space.

Overseeing the operation and strategy at the Mayfair gallery is Fru Tholstrup, who is coming to the gallery following a ten-year stretch as director of Haunch of Venison, where she specialized in client development, primary and secondary sales, while honing her curatorial skills. She has also curated and assisted with numerous charity auctions over the last decade, including those for Cancer Research UK. Prior to directing Haunch of Venison, Tholstrup spent eight years working at Sotheby’s in the Impressionist and contemporary departments. At the S|2 gallery, she will now lead a team that will include Charles Libeert, who joins as sales associate after three years at Bortolami gallery, and Valentina Salmeri, who was formerly with Sotheby’s private client group and is here taking on the role of gallery assistant.

Across the pond in New York, “Les Lalanne: The Poetry of Sculpture,” which is set to open October 31 and run through November 22, will feature a wide range of sculptures by the famous French artist duo, available for purchase. The Lalannes, known for their large, playful bronzes of animals including (perhaps their most popular) sheep, as well as bears, rabbits, and rams, have been on a hot streak in recent years, appearing in a flurry of gallery and museum shows — notably, a 2010 retrospective at the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, and with their sheep frequently topping the list of high prices at major design auctions. A group of ten sheep, designed circa 1979, “Mouton de Pierre,” sold for $7.5 million at Christie’s New York in December 2011. Prices in the S|2 show will range from $20,000 to $1.5 million.

The Lalanne exhibition is curated by New York dealer Paul Kasmin and collector and real-estate developer Michael Shvo. Viewers have been flocking to the current Kasmin-Shvo curated show of Lalanne works at a former Getty station turned grass station in Chelsea, Manhattan, where more than two-dozen of the iconic sheep graze on display through October 20. At Sotheby’s, the gallery will be transformed “into a midnight garden and thereby evoke the surrealist sculptors’ magical world in which their life and art were intertwined since the 1960s,” according to a statement from the house.