1913 b. October 6th in Berlin German-born Swiss, Surrealist artist Sculptor, and Photographer, Model and Poet Raised in Switzerland and South Germany where her father, a doctor long interested in Jung's ideas, had a country medical practice. Her aunt had at one time been married to Herman Hesse ->; 1926 Inspired by an exhibition of Bauhaus work including Paul Klee she produced her first "surrealist" work. 1932 May; Moved to Paris. Enrolled at the Acadeie de la Grande Chaumiere, lived in Montparnasse. Met Alberto Giacometti, Kurt Seligmann, Sophie Taeuber, Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp. 1933 First exhibition with the surrealists at the Salon des Surindependants. Actively participated in surrealist meetings and exhibitions until 1937. Affair with Man Ray. 1934 Modelled for Man Ray.
"One of the most uninhibited women I have ever met".
Affair with Max Ernst in Paris and Ascona; Met Jimmy Ernst. 1935 First one-woman exhibition at the Galerie Schulthess, Basel, prefaced by Max Ernst. 1936 Oppenheim began making sculpture, Fur-lined Teacup, Saucer, and Spoon (Dejeuner en fourure - Lunch in fur).
The result of a conversation she had with Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar. Andre Breton asked her to contribute to the forthcoming Surrealist exhibition. 1937 Returned to Basel and entered a period of artistic crisis which would last eighteen years. She studied art restoration for two years and thereafter made her living restoring paintings. 1938 Jan; exhibits in Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme at the Galerie Beaux-Arts, Paris; Organizers Andre Breton, Marcel Duchamp. Leonor Fini paints her portrait ->. Moved to Basle. Part of anti-fascist "Gruppe 33" -> with Kathe Wulff. 1939 Invited by Leonor Fini to exhibit at the Galerie Rene Druin and by Leo Castelli in Paris with Max Ernst, and others. 1940's and early 1950's a period of "crisis. 1940 Paradise is Under the Ground ->. 1943 Jan; Exhibits in Exhibition by 31 Women at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of this Century, New York. After the war she continued to exhibit with the surrealists until 1966, albeit to a lesser extent. For the latter part of her life, lived and worked in the family house Casa Costanza, Carona near Berne and Paris. Gradually, in the mid-1950s, she began working again. 1949 m. Wolfgang Balser Kaumfann La Roche. 1956 She had her first Paris one-person show. 1958? Compiled an autobiographical chronicle consisting of photographs, mementos, and commentary. She also made the model for her first large scale sculpture, Green Spectator. Although completed in 1959 it was based on sketches made in 1933. She contributed to surrealist exhibitions until 1960. 1959 Dec; Exhibited at Andre Breton's request at a celebration of Eros for the opening of the Exposition Internationale du Surrelisme at the Cordier Gallery in Paris, serving a banquet on the nude body of one of the participants. 1960 Sculpture Unterirdische Schleife ->. 1967 Ma gouvernante - My Nurse - Mein Kindermädchen, 1936/1967
1970's and 80's Casa Costanza guestbook provides the foundations for a veritable Who's Who of the contemporary Swiss cultural scene: among others, she was visited by the artists David Weiss, Markus Raetz, and Daniel Spoerri, the gallery-owners Renee and Maurice Ziegler, the collectors Christoph and Dominique Bargi, and the art historians Bice Curiger and Jacqueline Burckhardt. 1972? The Secret of Vegetation.
1975? Cadavre Exquis with Roberto Lupo and Anna Boetti. 1985? d. November 15th. Basel, Switzerland. Buried in Carona. See Timeline See article -> and work ->. See also -> and film ->, also Art Story -> Bibliography Meret Oppenheim: Defiance in the Face of Freedom - Bice Curiger (1989) Meret Oppenheim: Retrospective - Simon Baur (2007)