"Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition" opens at the Menil Collection
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, December 1, 2023

"Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition" opens at the Menil Collection
Meret Oppenheim, New Stars (Neue Sterne), 1977–82. Oil on canvas, 6 ft. 8 11/16 x 8 ft. 1 13/16 in. (205 x 248.5 cm). Kunstmuseum Bern. Meret Oppenheim Bequest. © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pro Litteris, Zurich.

HOUSTON, TX.- The Menil Collection announced the opening of Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition, the first major transatlantic retrospective of the Swiss artist, and the first in the U.S. in more than twenty-five years. The exhibition encompasses the work Oppenheim created throughout her five-decade career. Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition is on view at the Menil from March 25–September 18, 2022, after closing at the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland in February. Following its U.S. debut in Houston, the exhibition will travel to The Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) in October. The show is co-organized by the Menil; MoMA, New York; and the Kunstmuseum Bern.

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, 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. 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.”

Rebecca Rabinow, Director of the Menil Collection, said, “Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition is the result of a particularly close partnership between the Kunstmuseum Bern, MoMA, and the Menil. As a museum with a strong collection of Surrealist art, the Menil is proud to host the American debut of this important retrospective of Oppenheim’s wide-ranging and expansive career.”

Natalie Dupêcher, Associate Curator of Modern Art, the Menil Collection, said, “It has been a thrill to dive into Oppenheim’s boldly imaginative work, and to do so alongside the Menil’s curatorial partners in Bern and in New York. With this career-spanning retrospective, which brings many artworks to the U.S. for the first time, we look orward to introducing a new generation of art lovers and museum goers to this artist.”

The exhibition has been organized chronologically, with particular attention paid to key chapters in Oppenheim’s career: her formative years in Paris during the 1930s and return to Switzerland before World War II; 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.

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. The first
gallery brings together works from this period, including The Night, Its Volume and What Endangers It (La nuit, son volume et ce qui lui est dangereux), 1934, from the Menil’s permanent collection. This section also highlights the artist’s object making, with captivating works such as Ma gouvernante – My Nurse – Mein Kindermädchen, 1936/1967, consisting of a pair of white heels trussed together on a silver platter, and Fur Gloves with Wooden Fingers (Pelzhandschuhe), 1936.

After her early contact with the Surrealists in France, Oppenheim returned to her native Switzerland. She enrolled in courses on painting technique and restoration at Basel’s School of Design (Allgemeine Gewerbeschule), and created a number of fantastical narrative paintings in the late 1930s and early 1940s. In one, Daphne and Apollo (Daphne und Apollo), 1943, Oppenheim depicted two figures transforming into trees, offering her own take on the Greek myth.

In the mid-1950s, after a period of diminished productivity, Oppenheim returned to intensive artmaking. She rented a studio in Bern, where she continued to innovate new approaches and engaged with numerous postwar movements. Standing over five feet tall, The Green Spectator (Der grüne Zuschauer), 1959, is a significant sculpture from this moment. Oppenheim had drawn preparatory sketches for this work in Paris as a young artist, envisioning its eventual form. More than two decades later, she was finally able to realize the project in three dimensions.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the artist began to combine her career-long exploration of the natural world and enchantment. In the early 1960s, she developed a group of idiosyncratic sculptures and abstract paintings dedicated to the theme of clouds. Later that decade and into the 1970s, she made large-scale paintings like The Secret of Vegetation (Das Geheimnis der Vegetation), 1972, and innovative assemblage constructions, including the birdlike Hm-hm, 1969.

The exhibition concludes with works dating to the last years of Oppenheim’s life. In New Stars (Neue Sterne), 1977-82, one of the largest paintings of her career, an evening sky served as the inspiration for an explosive scene of hard-edge, geometric abstraction. The last gallery includes a group of twelve drawings from 1983, collectively titled My Exhibition, in which the artist imagined a retrospective of her life’s work, creating miniature sketches of the more than 200 works she selected for inclusion.

Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition is co-organized 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.

Today's News

March 26, 2022

Museums are cashing in on NFTs

Christie's Asian Art Week totals $67,890,084

Christie's will offer the largest white diamond ever to come to auction

Warhol-mania: Why the famed Pop artist is everywhere again

"Meret Oppenheim: My Exhibition" opens at the Menil Collection

France's new art fair is called 'Paris+'

Colby acquires Faith Ringgold story quilt

Green Tara goddess figure reigns supreme across Bonhams Asia Week sales in New York

World record for Rachel Jones at Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art sale in London

Elisabeth Millqvist will be the new head of Moderna Museet Malmö

Ludwig van Beethoven, Wright Brothers & Stephen Hawking among Fine Autographs and Artifacts up for auction

CERF+ Executive Director to step down in fall 2022

'Elizabeth Hohimer: On the Threshold of Dusk' opens at Gerald Peters Contemporary

Two of early cinema's rarest posters, For 'Hollywood' and 'Dracula,' star in Heritage Auctions April event

LeRoy Neiman's 'The Eye' offers a flirtatious peek at 1960s at Heritage Auctions

Boomboxes, Bowie, and Rolexes: This April at Bonhams New York

NOW Gallery announce Young Artist Commission 2022, Joy Yamusangie's 'Feeling Good'

Gió Marconi opens an exhibition of works by Jorge Pardo

Friendship, betrayal and the fight: 'Suffs' tells the suffragist tale in song

Richness in stasis: La Monte Young finally releases 'Trio'

My artist ghost

Galerie Nathalie Obadia presents a new series of works by Valérie Belin

Exhibition features a large selection from Daido Moriyama's Another Country in New York (1971)

Rarest of all Popeye toys leads Milestone's April 9 Spring Toy Spectacular

Benefits of using the best essay writing website

Top Batman Villains that Ruled the Big Screen

Why Do People Prefer Sugaring Over Waxing?

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful