Meret Oppenheim

Swiss-born Méret Oppenheim is widely recognized as one of the most important Surrealist artists of the movement, bringing themes of sexuality and feminism to the forefront of her dynamic oeuvre. She is perhaps best known for her 1936 piece, Object (Le Déjeuner en fourrure), which propelled her into the spotlight after inclusion in Andre Breton’s Exposition surréaliste d'objets, the first exhibition of Surrealist sculpture in Paris. The work—a teacup, spoon and saucer covered entirely in Chinese gazelle fur—was inspired by a tongue-in-cheek conversation between Oppenheim, Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar. Like Object, much of Oppenheim’s work contains sexual undertones, challenging the conventions of femininity through the juxtaposition of unrelated objects and forms.

Through her decades-long career, Oppenheim’s artwork, writings, jewlery and objects were shown in a number of institutions, galleries and museum around the world. In 1996 the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York held a retrospective of her work, which were followed by Kunstmuseum Bern in 2006 and Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin in 2013. A multifaceted artist, and accomplished critical writer, Oppenheim’s influence is still apparent in the contemporary art world.