Meret Oppenheim , Kentaurin auf dem Meeresgrund, 1932. Bleistift und Aquarell, 25 x 17,5 cm. Privatsammlung, Schweiz - © 2012, ProLitteris, Zürich
Meret Oppenheim , Kentaurin auf dem Meeresgrund, 1932. Bleistift und Aquarell, 25 x 17,5 cm. Privatsammlung, Schweiz
© 2012, ProLitteris, Zürich
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Exhibitions 19.10.2012 – 10.02.2013 CHF 14.00 / red. CHF 10.00

Meret Oppenheim: Inspiration for artists today

Meret’s Sparks. Surrealisms in Contemporary Swiss Art

The exhibition investigates Meret Oppenheim’s legacy and her impact on recent Swiss art in homage to this famous Swiss woman artist, who would have celebrated her hundredth birthday in 2013. At the same time, the show will scrutinize the role of contemporary surrealism.

Paintings and sculptures by Maya Bringolf, Tatjana Gerhard, Francisco Sierra, Vidya Gastaldon and Elisabeth Llach will be juxtaposed with more than 60 works by Meret Oppenheim.

For Meret Oppenheim, surrealism was her initial point of reference in Paris, and subsequently she pursued it as a form in which she could freely express own emotional experience and integrate her study of C.G. Jung’s teachings. In her individual coining of surrealism she saw it as an experimental field in which the “Defiance in the Face of Freedom” was made visible. But what do artists gain from this style of art today? Can surrealism in face of burgeoning virtual reality still slip into its traditional role? Or does in fact the adoption of surrealism in our times mark the manifestation of a return to traditional ways of thinking?

The themed group exhibition will contribute to a reappraisal of Meret Oppenheim’s impact on art in Switzerland. As a unique phenomenon, Meret Oppenheim had no own students who further explored the avenues she opened up, but nevertheless her work and life are still sources of inspiration for young artists today. Creating an artistic dialogue that overarches epochs and several generations by exhibiting her work alongside that of recent art approaches, we can recognize the relevance of Oppenheim’s early 20th-century art for today’s world and again experience its force of expression.

In combining older and more recent art, the exhibition and accompanying publication elucidate the current pertinence of Meret Oppenheim's work and highlight one of the cornerstones of the Kunstmuseum Bern's collection.

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