Persons [ ] Érotique | Méret Oppenheim & Man Ray (1930 – 36)

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Man Ray: Self-Portrait with Meret Oppenheim, 1933

Méret Elisabeth Oppenheim (1913 – 1985) was a German-born Swiss Surrealist artist and photographer. 
Oppenheim was a member of the Surrealist movement of the 1920s along with André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Max Ernst, and other writers and visual artists. 

Besides creating art objects, Oppenheim also famously appeared as a model for photographs by Man Ray, most notably a series of nude shots of her interacting with a printing press.

In 1932, at the age of 18, Oppenheim moved to Paris and sporadically attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière.

In 1933 she met Hans Arp and Alberto Giacometti who, after visiting her studio and seeing her work, invited her to participate in the Surrealist exhibition in the “Salon des Surindépendants,”  held in Paris between 27 October and 26 November.

Oppenheim met André Breton and began to participate in meetings at the Café de la Place Blanche with the Surrealist circle. The conceptual approach favored by Marchel Duchamp, Max Ernst, and Francis Picabia became important to her work.


Man Ray, Méret Oppenheim, 1933

“I think it is the duty of a woman to lead a life that expresses her disbelief in the validity 
of the taboos that have been imposed upon her kind for thousands of years. 
Nobody will give you freedom, you have to take it.

 Méret Oppenheim
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Man Ray, Erotique voilée, Meret Oppenheim, 1933

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Man Ray, Meret Oppenheim at the Printing Wheel, 1933

Man Ray, Erotique voilée, Meret Oppenheim, 1933

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Meret Oppenheim and Luis Marcoussis by Man Ray, 1933
Meret Oppenheim and Luis Marcoussis by Man Ray, 1933

Through the surrealists I got to know Man Ray. 
I enjoyed it especially when he took photos of me in his apartment, where many of his paintings were hanging. 
It seemed that then I didn’t say a word, because when I met Man Ray again after the war, he said:
 ‘But you can speak now!’ I didn’t speak a lot then. I felt so unsure of myself.

The dew on the rose 
Who touched it before 
Before the night ? 
She kept her pale flesh 
Her wax 
Black and white 
One sees her again in the clouds 
Eating marzipan.

 When Man Ray asked me whether he could publish our photos, I gave my consent. I felt completely indifferent. 
Naked or not? I was completely free. Only my poor parents.


Man Ray, Méret Oppenheim, 1935                             Man Ray, Méret Oppenheim, 1935
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Meret Oppenheim, Paris, 1934                                     Negative of X-Ray of Meret Oppenheim’s Skull, 1964
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Man Ray, Méret Oppenheim, 1932                                                           Man Ray, Méret Oppenheim, 1932

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Man Ray, Méret Oppenheim, 1930                         Meret Oppenheim by Man Ray, with drawings by Meret Oppenheim herself, 1936 

Man Ray, Méret Oppenheim, 1930                                            Man Ray, Méret Oppenheim, 1933

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