There is something so harrowing about staring into Bontecou’s sculptures. They are at once primordial and other worldly, projecting outward and eerily enveloping you, overwhelming you. Her seemingly bottomless black holes reflect no light and no life, and yet, they are self referential — representing life itself as boundless and limitless.
This Surrealist object was inspired by a conversation between Oppenheim and artists Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar at a Paris cafe. Admiring Oppenheim’s fur-covered bracelet, Picasso remarked that one could cover anything with fur, to which she replied, ‘Even this cup and saucer.’ Soon after, when asked by André Breton, Surrealism’s leader, to participate in the first Surrealist exhibition dedicated to objects, Oppenheim bought a teacup, saucer, and spoon at a department store and covered them with the fur of a Chinese gazelle. In so doing, she transformed genteel items traditionally associated with feminine decorum into sensuous, sexually punning tableware.