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Museums present two solo exhibitions on Los Angeles-based artist Catherine Opie
Catherine Opie, Andy Warhol to Elizabeth (Self-Portrait Artist) from the 700 Nimes Road Portfolio, 2010-2011, pigment print, 16 1Ž2 x 22 in., courtesy of the artist, Regen Projects, Los Angeles, and Lehmann Maupin, New York & Hong Kong.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- In a collaborative effort to present work by the Los Angeles-based artist Catherine Opie (b. 1961, Sandusky, Ohio), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Hammer Museum showcase two solo exhibitions simultaneously; Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road and Catherine Opie: Portraits.

“It is a pleasure to join forces with our colleagues and friends at the Hammer Museum and support Cathy together. Her ongoing personal commitment and support of L.A. art institutions is a testament to how much she cares about our community,” remarks MOCA Director Philippe Vergne. “The way Cathy looks at the world, the city, the citizens, who ever they are, who ever they love, whatever they do, constitutes us as a community. It is an honor to show her work.”

Hammer Museum Director Ann Philbin said, “Catherine Opie is one of the most significant artists working in photography as a documentarian of the American landscape and people of her generation. She has also been an important part of the Los Angeles art community in her continued involvement in both the Hammer and MOCA boards and as a professor in the UCLA Department of Art."

MOCA Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road
January 23–May 8, 2016

Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road presents new and recent work by Los Angeles-based artist Catherine Opie, an essential figure in contemporary photography. Taken over the course of six months at the Bel-Air, California, residence of the late actress Elizabeth Taylor (1932–2011), the exhibition’s photographs are drawn from two series: Closets and Jewels, and 700 Nimes Road. Inspired by William Eggleston’s images of Elvis Presley’s Memphis estate, Graceland, Opie creates a portrait of Taylor from her personal space and mementos. The artist photographs rooms, closets, shoes, clothing, and jewelry that depict an indirect, yet deeply intimate, portrait of a life defined by wealth and fame. With an investigative eye, Opie documents the grandeur and minute details of the home in a range of visual scales. Scrutiny tempered with restraint allows objects to accumulate, rooms to become landscapes, and clothing to be transformed into fields of color and texture. Opie’s lens portrays Taylor’s life experience and eccentricity as an illusory subject, one that cannot be specifically designated or precisely described. In the artist’s words, the project is not about the relationship to celebrity but about “the relationship to what is human.”

The Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Catherine Opie: Portraits
January 30–May 22, 2016

One of the preeminent artists of her generation, Catherine Opie is known for her evocative photographs of contemporary America. The artist has chosen myriad 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 time. Opie’s work draws as much from Renaissance painting as from the traditions of street photography, and her most recent body of work 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 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. 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, will be published by Prestel in September. 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. Opie lives and works in Los Angeles and is a Professor of Photography at UCLA.






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