My Exhibition 22.10.21–13.2.22
“I suggested to C.F. Reuterswärd that rather than ‘Portrait’ he use an x-ray of my skull, with big ear-rings, neck and hand, also with necklace and ring. C.F.R. liked it a lot, shall I send it?”
It’s a paradoxical situation: the museum does not accept the suggestion and instead uses a nude photo of her. In the photo the 54-year-old is 20 years old. The cover of the catalogue also features not a work by Oppenheim but a design by the artist C.F. Reuterswärd. At this moment of her greatest success so far she understands that she will have to manage her public image as an artist herself.
This self-portrait is symbolic of Meret Oppenheim, who always continued to develop her work with radical openness. She actively included different materials and current trends into her work and never stuck with one style or method.
“Roter Kopf, blauer Körper” (Red Head, Blue Body), 1936
Two organic forms float in the undefined space and are kept from drifting apart by lengths of twine.
“Urzeit-Venus” (Primeval Venus), 1962
This sculpture deviates from traditional depictions of Venus, and shows the usually idealised woman’s body as a simplified form.
“Octopus’s Garden”, 1971
The psychedelic underwater landscape recalls a famous Beatles song, not only in its title.
“Nebelblume” (Flower of Fog), 1974
The natural phenomenon of mist is presented in a large format with a reduced color palette.
“Brunnen” (Fountain), 1983
The fountain covered with plants changes its appearance according to the season.
The stylistic diversity of Oppenheim’s work is unusual, and was a great challenge to her time. From her first retrospective onwards she tried to define her own image as an artist. By doing this she was battling against the outward perspective imposed on her, which wanted to categorize the whole of her work under the heading of Surrealism.