Professor and award-winning photographer, Catherine Opie, has been named as inaugural holder of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Endowed Chair in Art in the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.
Throughout her career, Opie’s evocative photographs of contemporary America have challenged norms around sexuality and gender, domestic life and feelings of community. She has also worked with film, collage and ceramics. Opie’s images include portraits and American urban landscapes, ranging in format from large-scale color works to smaller black and white prints. Her work has been featured at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Hammer Museum at UCLA and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among other renowned cultural institutions.
Opie was a recipient of the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art Medal in 2016 and the Julius Shulman Excellence in Photography award in 2013. Recent projects include a permanent photographic installation for the new Los Angeles Federal Courthouse in 2016, and her book, “700 Nimes Road,” a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, was published by Prestel in 2015. She debuted her first film, “The Modernist,” at Regen Projects, Los Angeles in 2018.
The new chair, which is the first in the art department, was created by a $2-million donation from Lynda and Stewart Resnick, owners of The Wonderful Company. In addition to funding the chair, the Resnicks have also made a $500,000 gift to renovate and upgrade the undergraduate photography lab. The donation extends the Resnicks’ history of support for the work and education of young artists, both at UCLA and across Los Angeles.
In 2010, they established the Resnick Scholars Program in the UCLA Department of Art with a gift of $1 million that supported nearly 150 graduate and undergraduate students over the course of five academic years. In 2018, they contributed $30 million as the lead gift to help launch the Hammer Museum at UCLA’s capital campaign.