Meret Oppenheim: defiance in the face of freedom
DAjeuneur en Fourrure, the famous fur-lined cup and saucer that Meret Oppenheim produced during her student years in Paris, brought her international renown and precociously labeled her as a Surrealist during the 1930s. This first comprehensive study of Oppenheim (1913-1985) unites biographical detail, critical interpretation, and catalogue raisonnA to illuminate the enigmatic character and formidable achievements of a clairvoyant and radical artist.
With great sensitivity, Bice Curiger intertwines life and oeuvre, demonstrating the significance of an artist who was unfettered by adherence to any one style but produced a body of work bearing a highly personal expression. Curiger traces Oppenheim's career, beginning with her earliest schoolgirl manifesto, X=HARE, and her celebrated experiments in Paris. Oppenheims's return to Switzerland in the 1940s marked a prolonged period of personal and creative crisis, during which she affirmed the guiding tenet of her practice, the "uncertainly principle."
It was not until the late 1960s, Curiger observes, that Meret Oppenheim was truly rediscovered by an audience captivated by the richness and complexity of her work and its startling relevance to contemporary issues of individuality and feminism.
The catalogue raisonnA contains more than 1,000 images, documenting the enormous breadth and imagination of Oppenheim's oeuvre that included not only painting, drawing and sculpture, but jewelery and clothing design as well. The visual work is augmented by selected poems and writings by the artist.
Bice Curiger is the leading authority on Meret Oppenheim and worked closely with her until her death. She is Editorin-Chief of PARKETT magazine and a member of Switzerland's National Council for the Arts. Copublished with PARKETT Publishers. Distributed by The MIT Press.
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Defiance in the Face of Freedom by Bice Curiger
Texts and Poems
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1975 India ink Achat Agate artist Atelier Ballpoint pen Basle Basle/Switzerland MSM Basle/Switzerland Sec Berne Berne/Switzerland black paper Blue Blume Boetti Buhler-Oppenheim Butterfly Caroline Chareoal Christiane Meyer-Thoss Clouds Collage Coloured chalk Coloured ink coloured pencil copies numbered Crayon drawing Drei Edition Estate of Dr Etching and poem exhibition Face felt-tip pen Galerie Garden Gesicht Gestirn Giacometti Givaudan Gouache Gouache on black Gouache on grey Green Spectator grey paper Hamburg/Germany Ingres ink and coloured ink and gouache Kopf Kunstmuseum Landscape Leonor Fini Lithograph Lugano/Switzerland Madchen Mask Max Ernst Meret Oppenheim Monotype Moon moulded substance Mountain numbered Oil on canvas Oil on cardboard Oil on wood oil paint Paris Paris/France Pencil and coloured picture Private Collection Schmetterling Schwarz Sculpture signed and numbered Sketch Snake Solothurn Solothurn/Switzerland Star stone Surrealist Switzerland Tree watereolour White Wolke Wolken Woman x 21 cm x 50 cm York/USA Zurich/Switzerland Zwei