Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition is the first major transatlantic retrospective on the Swiss artist, and the first in the U.S. in more than twenty-five years. Over the course of fifty years, Meret Oppenheim (1913–1985) produced witty, unconventional bodies of work that remain largely unknown in the U.S. From uncanny object constructions, geometric abstractions, and painted narratives to jewelry designs, public sculpture commissions, and poetry, her diverse oeuvre is united by the singularity and force of her creative vision. Oppenheim’s thematic interests were equally diverse, ranging from the natural world and mythology to gender and selfhood, and her practice defies neat categorizations of style, medium, and historical movement. “Nobody will give you freedom,” she stated in 1975, “you have to take it.”
Arriving in Paris in 1932, the artist gained international fame in 1936, at only 23 years of age, with Object, a fur-lined teacup, spoon, and saucer. After her early contact with the Surrealists in France, Oppenheim returned to Switzerland before World War II. The exhibition follows her subsequent reengagement with Surrealist ideas and development of a new visual vocabulary alongside postwar art movements such as Nouveau Réalisme and Pop; and the last two decades of her life, in which her longstanding interests in nature, abstraction, and enchantment combined to forge a novel new style.