Meret Oppenheim, ‘Sugar Ring ’, 2014, GEMS AND LADDERS
Meret Oppenheim, ‘Sugar Ring ’, 2014, GEMS AND LADDERS

Meret Oppenheim’s concept for a wooden ring explored similar sensory territory to her fur-covered bracelet and ring. In her sketch she described a wooden form over which snakeskin is stretched, the wood inside making the piece unexpectedly light. The leather is fixed with a silver ring, and the piece is available in the surprising colours of green, blue, red and beige, which Oppenheim proposed, as well as in complementary shades of pink and grey. Akin to more dramatic works like Pelzhandschuhe (Fur gloves, 1936), in which red-varnished nails peep out from fur-covered gloves, the ring creates a frisson by uniting human and animal qualities.

Image rights: GEMS AND LADDERS, photo: Hans-Jörg F. Walter

About Meret Oppenheim

A central figure in Surrealism, Meret Oppenheim painted dream narratives and impossible juxtapositions of everyday objects to explore female sexuality, identity, and exploitation. She famously posed for Man Ray’s Erotique voilée (1933), instantly becoming an object of romantic idealization to the Surrealists for her seemingly direct and spontaneous access to experiences of the dream world through her youth, charm, and openness. In her best-known works, Oppenheim painted household objects in suggestively erotic arrangements or created haunting assemblages of indeterminate origins, often transforming objects closely associated with feminine domesticity into erotic symbols. Object (1936), a fur-covered cup, saucer, and spoon, became her most iconic work. Through exhibitions and activities amongst the Surrealist circle, Oppenheim was closely associated with Jean Arp, André Breton, and Max Ernst.

German-Swiss, 1913-1985, Charlottenburg, Germany