Catherine Opie Tackles High School Football in LACMA Photo Exhibit


'Josh,' 2007 by Catherine Opie | The Eugene Sadovoy Collection

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The exhibition Catherine Opie: Figure and Landscape opened yesterday (July 25) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and showcases recent work by Opie, an internationally renowned artist and CalArts’ alumna (Art MFA 88).

In Figure and Landscape, the LA-based photographer explores the issues of “masculinity, community and national identity” through the subject of  high school football. The exhibit opened in conjunction with the exhibit Manly Pursuits: The Sporting Images of Thomas Eakins, which also examines the masculine identity through sport.

LACMA summarizes Opie’s recent portfolio:

Over the last three years, Opie photographed football games and players in seven states across America: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, and Texas. Atmospheric cues locate each regional site, while gestures and gazes reveal the adolescent players’ disparate psychologies. Looking past the clichés associated with football, Opie perceives diversity in the individuals and communities that celebrate the game.

To contrast the football scenes, other mounted works in the exhibit are photos from her 2003 series of surfers as well as a number of landscapes. She continues her quest to document America through its scenery, people, communities and cultures–taking on the mantle of American Photographer–the title of her first, large-scale mid-career retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum (08-09).

Catherine Opie: Figure and Landscape at LACMA was made possible by the Wasserman Foundation–a relationship that began at CalArts, where Opie was a Wasserman Scholar. Her exhibit, as well as Manly Pursuits: The Sporting Images of Thomas Eakins, will be on view through Oct. 17.

Catherine Opie: Figure and Landscape
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles
Through Oct. 17

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