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Considered by some as the “most important living American photography,” Opie seeks to capture contemporary America by examining its cities and people. She has been the subject of exhibits at well-respected galleries in Europe and the U.S, such as the Guggenheim Museum in NYC and the Photographers’ Gallery in London.

Catherine Opie was born in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1961. At an early age, she discovered the work of photographer Lewis Hine, who documented the plight of child laborers at the turn of the 20th century. Inspired by Hine's photographs, she requested a camera for her ninth birthday, and was given a Kodak Instamatic by her parents. She immediately began photographing her family and neighborhood, exhibiting a fascination with community that continues to this day. Opie notes, “basically what I did then, and I still do is wander around with my camera to describe my relationship to the world and where I live.”When she was eighteen Opie moved to San Francisco to study photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. After graduating in 1985, she enrolled in the MFA program at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. Her thesis project Master Plan (1986–88) examined the planned communities of Valencia, from construction sites and advertisement schemes, to homeowner regulations and the domestic interiors of residents' homes. In 1989 Opie moved to Los Angeles and began working as an artist, supporting herself until 1994 as a lab technician at the University of California, Irvine. Her first solo exhibition was held at New York's 494 Gallery in 1991, but she first garnered widespread attention following her inclusion in the 1995 Whitney Biennial. As her work became more well known Opie accepted teaching positions and residencies at such institutions as the St. Louis Museum of Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Yale University. In 2002 she accepted a tenured professorship at the University of California, Los Angeles. Solo museum exhibitions of Opie's work have been organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1997–98); ArtPace, San Antonio (2000); The Photographers' Gallery, London (2000, traveled); Saint Louis Art Museum (2000); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2002); Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2006, traveled); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2006). Her photographs have also been shown in numerous group exhibitions, including All But the Obvious (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 1990); Transformers (Independent Curators International, 1994, traveled); Whitney Biennial 1995 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1995); Rrose is a Rrose is a Rrose: Gender Performance in Photography (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1997, traveled); Open City: Street Photographs Since 1950 (Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 2001, traveled); Whitney Biennial 2004 (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2004); the Sixth International Biennial Exhibition (SITE Santa Fe, 2006); and Global Feminisms (Brooklyn Museum, 2007, traveled).Opie lives and works in Los Angeles.[guggenheim]

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  • Shipping Dimensions: 16 x 20 in. (40.64 x 50.8 cm.)
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