In a recent posting of a video on the Museum of Contemporary Art website, UCLA professor of art Catherine Opie, artist A.L. Steiner and MOCA curator Lanka Tattersall discuss Opie’s career from her beginnings as a social documentary photographer to her most recent and most abstract body of work. One of the preeminent artists of her generation working with photography, Opie finds subject matter in questions of identity, community, the line between margin and mainstream, and the meaning of “iconic.”
Two exhibitions of work by Opie — who was recently elected to the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts — are opening soon:
“Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road” will be on view at MOCA Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, from Jan. 23 through May 8, 2016.
From Jan. 30 through May 22, 2016, the Hammer Museum at UCLA will be showing 12 portraits by Opie whose work draws as much from Renaissance painting as from the traditions of street photography. Her most recent body of work most directly engages with old master portraiture. Drawn from her own circle of creative friends — visual artists, fashion designers, and writers — her sitters emerge from the darkness as if lit from within by their intellectual potency. This exhibition, “Catherine Opie: Portraits,” is organized by the Hammer’s chief curator, Connie Butler, with Emily Gonzalez-Jarrett, curatorial associate.