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Died: 15th November 1985
Place(s) of work: Basel (ch) ; Paris (fr)
A Swiss painter, sculptor, and photographer who came to Paris in the 1930s, Meret Oppenheim was regarded in artistic circles as the ideal Surrealist woman--a so-called femme-enfant whose lack of inhibitions and subversive behavior made her as much an object of desire and a muse as she was an artist in her own right.
First exhibiting with the other Surrealists at the Salon des Surindépendants in Paris of 1933, Oppenheim is today best known for her sculpture Object (Le Déjeuner en fourrure) (1936), in which she covered a cup and saucer in fur. The result of a casual conversation with Picasso in which he noted that "anything" could be covered in fur, the work sabotages the utility of the items while imbuing them with an eroticism that both repels and attracts.
Oppenheim’s juxtaposition of unusual objects and materials mines the subconscious world of dreams, from which she drew much of her inspiration. (Her father, a doctor, had been a passionate adherent of Jung's philosophy.) Her later body of work consists of a varied output ranging from film scripts and poetry to costumes and masks. Today Oppenheim's legacy rests mainly on Object, now a cornerpiece of MoMA's collection, and her mythic status as a key figure in the male-dominated Surrealist movement.
Listen to artist Jenny Holzer explain Oppenheim's Object (Le Déjeuner en fourrure) [via gussie54]:(read less)
Techniques & Media: Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Sculpture
Inspirations & Key Themes: Dreams, Eroticism, Everyday objects, Female Archetypes, Feminism, Gender, identity, Politics, Sexuality, Subconscious
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Meret Oppenheim Shows
June 24th 2009 - January 4th 2010
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