Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition

Mar 25 – Sep 18, 2022
Main Building

Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition is the Swiss artist’s first major transatlantic retrospective, and the first in the U.S. in more than twenty-five years. From her artistic beginnings in 1930s Paris through her postwar career in Switzerland, Meret Oppenheim created art that defied neat categorizations of medium, style, and historical movement. At the time of her death at age 72, her output included object constructions, narrative paintings, hard-edge abstractions, witty drawings, collages and assemblages, and much more. Oppenheim pursued a dynamic, innovative art practice held together by the force of her creative vision. This retrospective exhibition, organized chronologically, surveys the sweep of her remarkably original artwork.

Arriving in Paris in 1932, the artist gained international fame in 1936, at only 23 years of age, with Object, fur-lined teacup, spoon, and saucer that is currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. After her early contact with the Surrealists in France, Oppenheim returned to Switzerland before World War II. The show 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.

Read more about Meret Oppenheim’s life and work: Meret Oppenheim Digitorial

Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition is coorganized by the Menil Collection, Houston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York (October 30, 2022–March 4, 2023); and the Kunstmuseum Bern (October 22, 2021–February 13, 2022). The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive, fully illustrated catalogue featuring new scholarly texts and is cocurated by Natalie Dupêcher, Associate Curator of Modern Art, the Menil Collection, Houston; Anne Umland, the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Nina Zimmer, Director, Kunstmuseum Bern / Zentrum Paul Klee.

Major funding for this exhibition is provided by Art Blocks; Bettie Cartwright; a gift in memory of Virginia P. Rorschach; Scott and Judy Nyquist; Marilyn Oshman; Susan Vaughan Foundation; The Vaughn Foundation; and Lea Weingarten. Additional support comes from Henrietta Alexander in memory of Marcy Taub Wessel; Eddie Allen and Chinhui Juhn; Suzanne Deal Booth; Hilda Curran; John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; Barbara and Michael Gamson; Janet and Paul Hobby; Caroline Huber; Linda and George Kelly; Janie C. Lee; Susan and Francois de Menil; Franci Neely; Carol and David Neuberger; Susanne and William E. Pritchard III; Robin and Andrew Schirrmeister; James William Stewart, Jr.; MaryRoss Taylor; Nina and Michael Zilkha; and the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition at the Menil Collection, Houston. Video: Jay Clark