ORGINALE TEIL 1932 – 1985, TEIL 2



ORGINALE TEIL 1932 – 1985

Opening: 5. March 2013, 19h
Exhibition Duration: 6. March – 5. April, 2013

Following part I which was dedicated to the editions in Meret Oppenheim’s oeuvre, the Galerie Krinzinger will be showing original drawings by the artist. Oppenheim’s work with this medium, a crucial means of expression for her, can be traced from her early pencil drawings and watercolors in her youth to the later magnificent gouaches dating from 1985, the year she died. One central period was the 1930s, a time in which the ready availability of the inexpensive medium played an important role, enabling the artist to use the (ink) drawing to jot down her ideas. After the war, and in the 1960s and 1970s in particular, she created more crayon and pastel drawings.

Meret Oppenheim’s works, in which the artist employs a reduced, often sparse pictorial repertory, confirm that immediacy is more crucial for the quality of a drawing than virtuosity. Such qualities of the drawing were certainly highly congenial with the artist’s artistic approach, with its characteristic openness, directness and intuition. Nature, i.e., transformational vital processes, the elementary forces and polarities (also of the sexes) as well as the temporal and cosmic integration are central themes of the artist’s work. What prevails are an abstract linear drawing style, in which the figures and things are captured in a few, reduced contours. What is represented is seldom narrative and its theme can hardly be clearly identified. Even the titles can be a bit enigmatic. Grotesque and even poetical titles can evoke associations or be provocative given their seeming arbitrariness. Many drawings show an affinity to the works of surrealist artists. In keeping with Breton’s literary technique, the so-called écriture automatique, they try to tap the possibilities of psychic automatism in the work with images. Even Meret Oppenheim was able to discover unknown pictorial forms in which unconscious contents can emerge in experiences taking place in the liminal realm between a waken and a dream state or in the process of drawing.

In the gouaches, in contrast, thick, dense strokes of paint have been placed on the surface. Meret Oppenheim developed a strong geometric abstraction precisely for rendering moving things that are difficult to capture – such as celestial bodies. These abstract “landscapes” by the artist – be it based on natural impressions or an expression of free creation – certainly figure among the highlights of Oppenheim’s artistic work.

Excerpt from the text “Die Zeichnung im Werk von Meret Oppenheim” by Isabel Schulz (publication: Meret Oppenheim – Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna 1997).