Déjeuneur 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 raisonné 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 raisonné 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.