press release

In 12 portraits of visual artists, fashion designers, and writers, Opie’s most recent body of work engages directly with old master portraiture. One of the preeminent artists of her generation working with photography, Catherine Opie (b. 1961, Sandusky, Ohio) is known for her evocative images 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. 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. 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. 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. The Hammer Museum will present 12 portraits from this recent series alongside a new abstract landscape. 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.