Meret Oppenheim—My Album
The autobiographical Album “From Childhood until 1943” and her handwritten biography
Very intimate insights: Meret Oppenheim’s album and autobiography
1st edition, 2022
Text in English and German
324 pages, 179 color illustrations
22 x 33 cm
The complex, enigmatic work of Meret Oppenheim (1913–85) has lost nothing of its allure in the present day. Much has been written about her career and her art. Yet very little is known about the real person, who always remained secretive about herself and banned publication of any personal documents until twenty years after her death.
In 1958, Oppenheim put together an album that she titled Von der Kindheit bis 1943 (From Childhood to 1943). It has a dual identity of a diary and a work of art. It assembles photos, objects, notes, and brief texts, as well as ideas and concepts for artworks, and offers very personal insights into Oppenheim’s private life and thoughts. This book features the entire album in true-size color reproductions and, for the first time ever, translates the full text into English. The album is supplemented with a previously unpublished autobiographical text by Oppenheim, which she compiled in 1970–71. Rounded out with an introduction by editors Lisa Wenger and Martina Corgnati, this beautiful book offers entirely new perspectives on one of the most distinguished woman artists.
Awarded second place at the ICMA Award 2022.
Designed by Valeria Bonin and Diego Bontognali, Bonbon.
Lisa Wenger, born 1949, is a niece of Meret Oppenheim. As one of the keepers of the artist’s estate, she has transcribed thousands of letters, notes and other documents by Oppenheim and her correspondents.
Martina Corgnati, born 1963, is an art historian, curator and critic. She teaches as a professor of history of art at Milan’s Brera Academy of Fine Art and has curated numerous exhibitions on avant-garde and neo avant-garde art.
"And so you wander through the picture book and diary with your eyes open, rejoicing, perhaps laughing in surprise, resting on a blank page of the album... Let yourself be enchanted by this beautiful, extraordinary book, of which we have only been able to offer a small taste!" Annegret Diethelm and Attilio D'Andrea, Tessiner Zeitung
"A ravishing and at the same time hardly classifiable work of art that favors the visual element and consists of a diary, photographs, drawings, anecdotes and short memories—an autobiographical treasure trove." Alexandra Wach, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"In the interplay between words and images, photographs and notations, blank spaces and filled pages, this publication proves to be of visual value in itself." Philipp Meier, Neuer Zürcher Zeitung