The Museum of Avant-garde

Meret Oppenheim

Germany (1913—1985)
Born in Berlin just before the outbreak of WWI, she grew up in Switzerland and studied art. In 1933 she moved to Paris where she discovered Surrealism and collaborated with Man Ray, Giacometti, Arp and Breton and Max Ernst. At the age of 23 she created her assemblage of fur-lined teacup and on other everyday items. Her Object entered the MOMA collection instantly. Back in Basel in 1937 she enrolled in a local school for art conservation and restoration, abandoning her art for nearly two decades. She came back to it in 1954 with the performance piece Spring Feast. Breton invited her to replicate it at the EROS (Exposition inteRnatiOnale du Surréalism) in 1967 but in a different social climate her work was criticised and misinterpreted. Soon after however she received a recognition in a Stockholm retrospective and the Art Award in Basel in 1982. During her life she explored different types of artistic expression, including a moss and stone fountain for the city of Bern, furniture and poetry.

X-Ray self-portrait

Original photography / Gelatin silver print / 20.5 x 25.5 cm / 1964

My nurse (Ma gouvernante, my nurse, mein Kindermädchen)

Original photography / Gelatin silver print / 16 x 24.2 cm / n.d.