The Traccia side table was designed in 1939 by Merit Oppenheim for Leo Castelli’s avant-garde gallery. It was dubbed as the “Bird Leg Table”, for fairly obvious reasons. The slim-line legs and the taloned feet in polished cast bronze pay homage to the claw-foot furniture of the past. Traccia launched in 1971 as part of designer Dino Gavina’s “l’opera d’arte funzionale”, or functional artworks. This inaugurated a new approach of furnishing where surreal objects were adapted for everyday use and led to the creation of the Ultramobile collection.
Around this time, the Simon International company produced a limited edition in a smaller size. This has now been re-released by Cassina, fully respecting the original design.
Meret Oppenheim is an artist with a free and instinctive creativity, inquisitive nature and complex personality. Her work is versatile, lending itself to incorporate the application of various artistic techniques. After her move to Paris in 1932, she worked among great masters of surrealism, such as Arp, Giacometti, Breton, Man Ray, Duchamp and Max Ernst – who became her intimate companion. The surrealist movement had great influence in Oppenheim’s life but nevertheless she created her own identity.
Her most famous work “Déjeuner en fourrure” (Breakfast in fur), was purchased by Alfred H. Barr from Charles Ratton Gallery for the MoMA in New York, and dates back to these years. Back to Paris in 1939, she took part in the exhibition on “imaginary” furniture with Max Ernst and Leonor Fini; in that event, she presented Traccia, the famous table with bird’s legs.