In 1936, invited by André Breton to contribute to an exhibition of Surrealist objects, Meret Oppenheim (1913-1985) decided to act upon a café conversation she had recently had with Pablo Picasso and his then-companion Dora Maar. Commenting on a fur-covered bracelet that Oppenheim had made for the designer Schiaparelli, Picasso remarked that one could cover just about anything in fur, to which Oppenheim responded, "Even this cup and saucer." The resulting sculpture was "Object," a teacup, saucer and spoon purchased from a department store and lined with Chinese gazelle fur. An essay by Carolyn Lanchner, retired Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, discusses the enigmatic, sensually disturbing nature of this transformed tea set, its sensational impact on its first audiences and its enduring fascination as an icon of Surrealism.
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