Catherine Opie  (American, 1961) 

Catherine Opie (American, b.1961) is acclaimed for her arresting portraits and landscapes, which examine notions of gender, sexuality, and the fabric of American communities in technically-refined works with rich color. Opie was born in Sandusky, OH, and attended the San Francisco Art Institute—later receiving her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. After moving to Los Angeles, she began photographing her friends, who frequently identified with typically “marginalized” groups—the queer community and the San Francisco S&M community, among them—in efforts to offer alternative and more authentic representations of such communities. Opie created a series of compelling self-portraits around the same time, picturing her own body covered in provocative words or queer imagery, painfully incised into her skin. In later works in the mid-1990s, Opie began examining formal aspects of photography in her abstracted images of landscapes, realizing the potential for landscape to act as a platform to examine the construction of communities throughout the United States. In her Domestic series, she drove across the country photographing lesbian households, providing a testament to families that went unnoticed to most of “mainstream” America. Opie has consistently made queer and gender politics central to her work, and has also photographed series revolving around health policy, AIDS, and other issues central to the queer community. She has also made recent series examining her role as a mother and a partner, photographing honest and intimate scenes from her everyday domestic life in In and Around Home. Opie has exhibited her work at the Whitney Biennial and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Museum of Modern Art in Oxford. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

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Artworks for sale (4)

Catherine Opie, Untitled (bed, self-portrait)


Catherine Opie
Untitled (bed, self-portrait)

The Rema Hort Mann Foundation
Catherine Opie, Alaska Landscape #3


Catherine Opie
Alaska Landscape #3

Serge Sorokko Gallery
Catherine Opie, Untitled 'Pharmacist to the Stars'


Catherine Opie
Untitled 'Pharmacist to the Stars'

Catherine Opie, Tiolu


Catherine Opie

Sabine Knust Galerie Maximilian Verlag
Past auction results (89)  View All
Catherine Opie, Alaska landscape #3


Catherine Opie
Alaska landscape #3, 2007


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Catherine Opie, Freedom, Oklahoma


Catherine Opie
Freedom, Oklahoma, 1999


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Catherine Opie, Untitled #4 from Mini-Mall Series


Catherine Opie
Untitled #4 from Mini-Mall Series, 1997
iris print


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1961   Born in Sandusky, Ohio
1985   BFA San Francisco Art Institute
1988   MFA CalArts
1997   Citibank Private Bank Emerging Artist Award
1999   Washington University Freund Fellowship
2000 - 2001   Professor of Fine Art, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
2003   CalArts Alpert Award in the Arts
2004   Larry Aldrich Award
2001 - pres   Professor of Fine Art, Department of Art, University of California, Los Angeles
pres   Lives and works in Los Angeles, California
2010   “Hard Targets,” Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
2009   "Los Angeles," The Annenberg Space for Photography, March 25-July 5, 2009
2009   "Into the Sunset: Photography's Image of the American West," organized by Eva
2009   Respini, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, March 29 – June 8, 2009
2009   "Mixed Signals: Artists Consider Masculinity in Sports," Cranbrook Art Museum, Michigan, February 1 – March 29, 2009
2008   "Road Trip," San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, September 19, 2008 – January 25, 2009
2008   "Other People: Portraits from the Grunwald and Hammer Collections," curated by Gary Garrels, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, November 26, 2008 – March 22, 2009
2008   "Role Models: Feminine Identity in Contemporary American Photography," National Museum of Women in the Arts in DC, October 17, 2008 – January 25, 2009
2008   "Catherine Opie The Distant Blue: Photographs from Alaska," Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, UK, October 14 – November 14, 2008
2008   "Catherine Opie: American Photographer," Guggenheim Museum, New York, September 26, 2008 – January 7, 2009
2008   "Catherine Opie," Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA, April 10 – May 17, 2008
2008   "Listen Darling…The World is Yours," curated by Lisa Phillips, Ellipse Foundation, Cascais, Portugal, October
2008   "War as a Way of Life," Campbell, Clayton, 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA, September 27 – December 19, 2008
2008   "Kiki: The Proof is in the Pudding," curated by Kevin Killian and Oolter Jacobsen, Ratio 3 Gallery, San Francisco, June 27 – August 2, 2008
2008   "Idle Youth," curated byRussell Ferguson, Gladstone Gallery, New York, June 26 – August 15, 2008
2008   "This Side of Paradise: Body and Landscape in Los Angeles Photographs," The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino CA, May 1 – October 20, 2008
2008   "In Repose: An exhibition from the collection of Debra and Dennis Scholl, Miami Beach, Florida," curated by Lorie Mertes, The Galleries at Moore, Goldie Paley Gallery Philadelphia, PA, January 26 – March 14, 2008; cat.
2007   “People Take Pictures of Each Other,” LaMontagne Gallery, Boston
2007   "Darling, Take Fountain," Kalfayan Galleries, Athens
2007   "Refugees of Group Selection," Franklin Parrasch, New York
2007   "Passion Complex: Selected Works from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery," 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan
2007   "Red Eye: LA Artists from the Rubell Collection," Rubell Family Collection, Miami
2007   "Global Feminisms," Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
2007   "All the More Real: Portrayals of Intimacy and Empathy," Parrish Art Museum, Southampton
2006   "The Last Time They Met," Stephe Friedman Gallery, London
2006   “Dark Places,” Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica
2006   "Catherine Opie," Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, June 4-Sept 3; travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Sept 29-Dec 30 (solo)
2006   “Catherine Opie: 1999 & In and Around Home,” The 2004 Larry Aldrich Award Exhibition, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut (solo)
2006   “American Cities,” Gladstone Gallery, New York (solo)
2006   “American Cities (Chicago),” Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (solo)
2006   "Couples Discourse," Palmer Museum of Art, University Park, Pennsylvania
2006   "Red Eye: LA Artists from the Rubell Family Collection," The Rubell Family Collection, Miami
2006   "Our Town," Hudson Untitled Foundation, Hudson, NY
2006   "Still Points Of The Turning World," SITE, Santa Fe 6th International Biennial
2006   "Work Zones," San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco
2005   “Anniversary Exhibition,” Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, March 29 – April 23, 2005
2005   “Bidibidobidiboo,” Foundazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy, 2005
2004   “26th Sao Paulo Biennial,” curated by Alfons Hug, Pavilhao Ciccillo Matarazzo, Parque do Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 25 – December 19, 2004
2004   “The Leopard Spots: Between Art, Performance, and Club Culture,” 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA, August 7 – October 16, 2004
2004   “Catherine Opie: Surfers,” Regen Projects, Los Angeles, January 10 – February 14 (solo)
2004   “Catherine Opie: Children,” Studio Guenzani, Milan, Italy, October 27 – December 4 (solo)
2002   “Catherine Opie: Icehouses,” Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA, May 11 – June 15 (solo)
2002   “Inaugural Exhibition,” Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA, January 25 - March 8, 2003
2002   “Majestic Sprawl: Recent Los Angeles Photography,” Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA, September 21 - December 21
2001   “EXTRAordinary,” Madison Art Center, Madison, WI, December 2 - February 24, 2002
2001   “fe/male,” Plakat-Intervention U-Bahnstation, Braunschweiggasse, Vienna, Austria, August 1 - 31
2001   “Wall Street,” Stephen Friedman Gallery, London, England, November 30 - January 19, 2002 (solo)
2001   “1999,” Galeria Presenca, Porto, Portugal, November 10 - December 20 (solo)
2000   “Catherine Opie: In between here and there,” The Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO, October 6 - November 26. (solo)
2000   “Catherine Opie,” The Photographers Gallery, London, England, August 9 - September 24; travels to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, November18, 2000 - February 18, 2001. (solo)
2000   “Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900 - 2000,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, November 12, 2000 - February 25, 2001.
2000   “Beyond Boundaries: Contemporary Photography in California,” University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach, CA, June 20 - August 6, 2000; Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, November 11 - December 17, 2000;The Friends of Photography, San Francisco, January 23 - April 29, 2001
1999   “Los Angeles,” Philomene Magers Projektes & Maxmilian Verlag, Munich, Germany
1999   “The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-2000,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, September 23, 1999 - February 27, 2000
1999   “Domestic,” Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1999   “Catherine Opie: A Survey,” Woodstreet Galleries, Pittsburgh, PA, September 3 - October 16 (solo)
1998   “Love’s Body, Rethinking Naked and Nude in Photography,” Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan, November 12, 1998 - January 17, 1999.
1998   “Lost Paradise: Catherine Opie, Ellen Cantor, Joachim Koester,” Presenca Gallery, Porto, Portugal, September 26-November 1998
1998   “Mini-Malls,” Jay Gorney Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
1997   “Catherine Opie,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Oct. 5 - Feb. 8 (solo)
1997   “Houses and Landscapes,” Ginza Art Space, Shiseido, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1997   “American Art 1975-1995 from the Whitney Museum: Multiple Identity,” Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Italy, October 20-January 18, 1998
1997   “Defining Eye: Women Photographers of the 20th Century,” Selections from the Helen Kornblum Collection, St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; traveled to The Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, NM, June 19-August 4, 1998; Mead Museum of Art, Amherst, MA, September 27-December 12; Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS, January 31-March 21, 1999; Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, June 1999
1996   “Lie of the Land,” curated by Elizabeth Brown, University Art Museum, UC Santa Barbara, CA, November 26 - February 2, 1997
1996   “Go West: Landscapes,” curated by John Arndt and Barbara Wiesen, Reicher Gallery, Barat College, Lake Forest, IL, November 20 - December 18
1996   “Houses and Landscapes,” Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1996   “Houses and Freeways,” Jay Gorney Modern Art, NY (solo)
1995   Portraits,” enterprise, New York, NY (solo)
1995   “Portraits,” Parco, Tokyo, Japan (solo)
1995   “Transformers: The Art of Multiphrenia,” curated by Ralph Rugoff, Herbert F. Johnson, organized by Independent Curators International, New York, Decker Galleries, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD, November 17-December 17; traveled to Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, January 27-March 26, 1996; Nexus Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA, April 12-June 1; Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, June 21-September 9; Illingworth Kerr Art Gallery of the Alberta College of Art & Design, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, November 4 - November 28
1995   “A Glimpse of the Norton Collection as Revealed by Kim Dingle,” curated by Kim Dingle, Santa Monica Museum of Art, December 10, 1995 - February 26, 1996; traveled to Site Santa Fe, September 13 - November 2
1994   “In the Field: Landscape in Recent Photography,” Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles
1994   “Little House on the Prairie,” Marc Jancou Gallery, London
1994   “Portraits,” Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1994   “Portraits,” Kiki Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
1993   “Invitational 93,” Regen Projects, Los Angeles, CA
1993   “Regarding Masculinity,” Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA
1992   “Wasteland,” curated by Bas Vroges, Fotografie Biennale Rotterdam III, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1992   “Breaking Barriers,” Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA
1991   “Situation,” curated by Nayland Blake and Pam Gregg, New Langton Arts, San Francisco
1991   “Someone or Somebody,” curated by Simon Watson,Meyers/Bloom Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1991   “Being and Having,” 494 Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1990   “A Long Way from Paris: Photographs from MacArthur Park, Metro Rail, and Their Surroundings,” Beyond Baroque, Venice, CA (solo)
1990   “All But the Obvious,” curated by Pam Gregg, L.A.C.E., Los Angeles, CA
1989   “New Landscapes,” curated by Williams Hipps, Angel Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA
1989   “Master Plan,” United States Post Office, Valencia, CA (solo)
1989   “Master Plan,” Mills College, Oakland, CA (solo)
1988   “Los Angeles Art Fair,” organized by L.A. Weekly, Criticsí Choice, LA Convention Center
1987   Guggenheim Gallery, Orange County, CA
1985   Camerawork Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2006    Catalogue, Dark Places, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, 2006
2006    Kunitz, Daniel, “The Universal Canvas,” The New York Sun, January 19, 2006.
2005    Kunitz, Daniel, “Publisher’s Catalogue,” ArtReview, Nov/Dec 2005, pp.126-131.
2005    Catalogue, “Frieze Art Fair Yearbook 2005-06”, Frieze Art Fair, London, 2005
2004    Catalogue, 26th Sao Paulo Biennial, curated by Alfons Hug, Sao Paulo, Brazil, pp. 180 –181, ill.
2004    Sheets, Hilarie M., “Armand Hammer’s Orphan Museum Turns Into Cinderella in Los Angeles,” The New York Times, October 6, 2004, pp. B1 & B9
2003    Boriani, Glenda, “Micropolitics,” Tema Celeste, issue 96, March/April, 2003, p. 113, ill.
2003    Catalogue, Art and Photography, published by Phaidon, London, England, p. 124
2002    Monograph, Catherine Opie: Skyways + Icehouses, essay by Douglas Fogle, published by the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, ills.
2002    Muchnic, Suzanne, “With all its hang-ups, the L.A. gallery scene thrives,” Los Angeles Times, November 24, 2002
2001    Pinsent, Richard, “Adroitly controlled mise-en-scene at Entwistle,” The Art Newspape, December 2001, p.67, ill.
2001    Catalogue, Open City: Street Photographs since 1950, published by Museum of Modern Art Oxford, pp. 18, 168-173, ills. , cover
2000    Catalogue, Auto Werke, published by Hatje Cantz, with support by BMW Financial Services North America, essay by Joshua Decter, essay pp. 5-6, ills.
2000    “Family Business,” Flash Art, November-December 2000,pp. 48, ill.
1999    Gockel, Cornelia, “Kunst aus Kalifornien,” Suddeutsche Zeitung, December 13, 1999, p. 38, ill.
1999    Catalogue, The Modernist Document/Le Document Moderniste, edited by Nancy Shaw, published by Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Concordia University and The Canada Council for the Arts
1998    Catalogue, The Edge of Night:Urban Landscape Photography, Hunter College, essay by Susan H. Edwards
1998    Muchnic, Suzanne, “L.A. Story,” ARTnews, September, 1998, pp. 150-153, ills.
1997    Gragg, Randy, “A letter from L.A.,” Sunday Oregonian, December 21, pp. 1 & 8.
1997    Catalogue, a/drift, curated by Joshua Decter, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, ill.
1996    Catalogue, Sexual Politics, UCLA at the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, edited by Amelia Jones, pp. 35, 225, 261 and 224, ill.
1996    Curtis, Cathy, “Art Outlook Includes Insights From All Angles”, Orange County Calendar, December 31, F2, ill.
1995    Smith, Cherry, “Eu estava presa em um corpo de sapatao,” Folha de Sao Paulo, July 12
1995    Catalogue, feminimasculin: Le sexe de l’art, Centre Georges Pompidou, Gallimard/Electra, Paris, ill.
1994    Catalogue, Love In the Ruins: Art and the Inspiration of L.A. , Long Beach Musuem, text and curated by Noriko Gamblin, ill.
1994    Goldberger, Paul, “The Art of His Choosing,” New York Times Magazine, Sunday, February 26, pp. 30-39, 52, 55, 61-62, ill.
1993    Francine Koslow Miller, “Currents ‘93: Dress Codes,” Artforum, November 1993, p. 110-11
1993    Catalogue, Back Talk: Women’s Voices in the 90s, Lucy Lippard, Santa Barbara, CA
1992    Catalogue, Wasteland, Bas Vroege, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1992    Kotz, Liz, “The Body You Want, Liz Kotz interviews Judith Butler,” Artforum, November 1992, XXXI, No. 3, p. 83, ill.
1991    Hirsch, David, review, New York Native, December 2, Issue 450
1991    Catalogue, Situation, Richard Meyer, “Exceeding the Frame: recent production by lesbian and gay artists”
1990    Oversight, vol. 2, CalArts, Valencia, CA
1990    Frank, Peter, “Catherine Opie Pick of the Week,” L.A. Weekly
1989    Beckman, L., and Sorenson, K., Lucky, Los Angeles, Vol. 2, Spring
1989    “The Master Plan,” Off Ramp, Santa Monica School of Architecture, Spring
1988    Annual Critics’ Choice, L.A. Weekly, Dec. 9-15, Vol. 11
1984    Inside/Out, San Francisco, San Francisco Art Institute publication