Frances Lansing represents an immensely urban world that loses itself in the boundless horizon of the Tuscan countryside. There, Lansing put down deep roots, tangled like those of the trees she shapes, fixed in the clay soil that nourishes them.
Frances Lansing was born and raised in New York City. University and graduate studies in Boston coincided with a moment of huge cultural and social ferment. In 1973, an explosion of life and color shook Avant-guard centers like New York. Yet it was Florence, that well-mannered old lady quietly gazing on the surrounding hills, who beckoned her.
Once settled in Florence, however, Lansing discovered the Avant guard work of Italian radical architecture through Superstudio (she was married to Cristiano Toraldo di Francia, a founder of the group). The members’ use of the design process as a challenge to current architectural dogma, offered a new approach to art making.
She later was a founder and part of a collective called the Etruscans. Names like Rafaele Bueno, Giovanni Ragusa, Maro Gorkey , Matthew Spender, Sheppard Craige, Roberto Barni, revolved around Philippe Daverio to keep alive the materials, forms and working spirit inherited from ancient Etruscan civilization – a goal Lansing has never abandoned.
Since 1995 the artist has lived in the gentle rolling countryside south of Siena where her husband, the painter Sheppard Craige, created a fantastic and magical Park. The Bosco della Ragnaia is a territory where creatures and objects contrived by Frances Lansing attest to her enchantment, and her ambition as an Artist to share with others the particular delight of this world.
The tables, shelves, animals and woodland creatures of Frances Lansing move and breathe. You sense their presence, the scent of their perfume. Lansing usually works directly in wax; she models, carves, removes, adds. The tables often reveal her fingerprints, the swift movements of her hands.