Past Exhibitions

Catherine Opie: In and Around Home

Exhibition Through September 3, 2006


The museum presents an exhibition of work by the prominent California artist Catherine Opie that ranges from her earliest photographs from the mid-1980s to her most recent series completed in 2005. Since the sensational debut of her classically-composed but often shocking images of the gay subculture of Los Angeles, Opie’s photographs have explored the rich terrain of cultural portraiture and the documentary tradition in America. Her camera’s encounters have consistently expanded the documentary tradition with power, anxiety, and tremendous idealism. This exhibition of Opie’s work will focus on the poignant polarities of communities, values, and identifies as seen in the contradictory landscape that is southern California.

This presentation includes Opie’s MFA thesis project, a series of photographs titled Master Plan, 1986-88, on public view for the first time. In this in-depth series, the artist chronicles the development of a model housing project in Valencia, California – a microcosmic look at American identity that set the stage for much of the artist’s subsequent work. Also on view is her recent photographic essay, In and Around Home (2005), images taken in her diverse Los Angeles neighborhood to explore personal and political identity; as well as 1999, a series of color photographs taken at the millennium as Opie drove across the U.S.; and a selection of the artist’s portraits of people and architecture from other locations in southern California, including Opie’s Freeways (1994-1995). Houses (1995-1996), Mini-Malla (1997), and Surfers (2004).

Image Credits:

Catherine Opie, Nick, 2003; C-print; Courtesy Regen Projects, LA


Exhibition Credits

Catherine Opie is co-organized by the Orange County Museum of Art and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut, where the artist is the recipient of the 2004 Larry Aldrich Award. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated, 96-page catalogue of the artist’s photographs, texts by Elizabeth Armstrong, chief curator and deputy director at OCMA.