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Anna Oppermann Beans (1968) mixed media on masonite; Untitled (1970) mixed media on cardboard. Images courtesy of Inventory Press.
Beginning in the mid-1960s through the early ‘70s Anna Oppermann (1940-1993) created an astonishing series of surreal, almost psychedelic drawings that uniquely and quietly explode the private space of the home, a traditionally feminine sphere. These early drawings contribute to a feminist re-centering of such spaces associated with women, casting everyday objects as symbolic, consequential protagonists: houseplants sprawl to take over the picture plane, windows and mirrors provide views into other worlds, and tables display drawings that open out into new domestic scenes. By placing her own body— her knees, arms, the back of her head— as reference points in the work, Oppermann coaxes the viewer to take on her subjectivity and perspective, emphasizing the gendered realms of the home and the relationships that we form both within and to our private spaces.
Anna Oppermann: Drawings, the newest release from Inventory Press, is a book of drawings by the late German artist Anna Oppermann. The publication will be the first book on Oppermann produced in the United States and will feature a number of new texts on her work by Connie Butler, Chief Curator, Hammer Museum, UCLA; Meta Marina Beeck, Assistant Curator, Kunsthalle Bielefeld; and a conversation between Carpenter Center director Dan Byers and Ute Vorkoeper, Curator, Anna Oppermann Estate. Published by Inventory Press and the Harvard Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.