December 27, 2015

Catherine Opie @ Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

Catherine Opie: Portraits
The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
January 30 - May 22, 2016

Catherine Opie
Glenn, 2013 
Pigment print, 33 x 25 in. (83.8 x 63.5 cm)
© Catherine Opie, Courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles, and Lehmann Maupin, New York & Hong Kong

One of the preeminent artists of her generation, Catherine Opie (b. 1961, Sandusky, Ohio) is known for her evocative photographs of contemporary America. The artist has chosen a myriad of subjects throughout her career, including the S/M community, city buildings, domestic life, high school football players, surfers, and President Obama’s first inauguration ceremony. Her pictures of the people, places, and events of the past 30 years are documents of the artist’s life as well as of our times. Catherine Opie’s work draws as much from Renaissance painting as from the traditions of street photography, and her most recent body of work most directly engages with old master portraiture. Selected from her own circle of creative friends—visual artists, fashion designers, and writers—her sitters emerge from the darkness as if lit from within. The Hammer Museum will present 12 portraits from this recent series, including Jonathan Franzen, Kate & Laura Mulleavy, Mary Kelly, Matthew Barney, Glenn Ligon, John Baldessari, Kara Walker, Miranda July, Raymond Pettibon, Ron Athey, Ryan McGinness, alongside a new abstract landscape.

Catherine Opie: Biography
Catherine Opie was born in Sandusky, Ohio and received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia in 1988. Opie’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. In 2008, Catherine Opie: American Photographer, a mid-career survey of her work, was on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Recent solo exhibitions have been organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; The Saint Louis Art Museum; the Photographers’ Gallery in London; The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and the Long Beach Museum of Art in California. Catherine Opie was a recipient of the Julius Shulman Excellence in Photography award in 2013 and a United States Artists Fellowship in 2006. Her latest book 700 Nimes Road, a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, has been published by Prestel. Photographs from this body of work will be shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles concurrently with her exhibition at the Hammer Museum. She is currently working on an installation for the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, to debut the Summer of 2016. Catherine Opie lives and works in Los Angeles and is a Professor of Photography at UCLA.

This exhibition is organized by chief curator Connie Butler with Emily Gonzalez-Jarrett, curatorial associate.

Concurrently on view from January 23-May 8, 2016, Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road at MOCA Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood.

The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles