Meret Oppenheim was born in 1913 in Berlin-Charlottenburg. She moved to Paris in 1932 where she studied briefly at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere before being introduced to the Surrealists by Alberto Giacometti and Hans Arp the following year. She participated in Surrealist exhibitions until 1937 and had contributed much of her work before the age of 20.
Depression and the teacup
Oppenheim's most famous work was the fur lined teacup, or Object in fur produced in 1936 and it remains one of the icons of the Surrealist movement. It provoked the viewer into imagining what the fur lined cup might feel like to drink from and forces the disagreeable sensation on a mixture of the senses. Much of Surrealist work was an echo of everything this piece stands for, a mixture of humour, sexuality and provocation. However, following this piece's creation Oppenheim attended art school in order to try and live up to her new found fame and yet receded into a seventeen year depression."Nobody gives you freedom, you have to take it"
she remarked and she came out the other side of her crisis with links to Surrealism and Dada intact.