From January to May, two major Los Angeles museums—Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Pacific Design Center and the Hammer Museum—hold nearly simultaneous solo exhibitions of photographs by Los Angeles-based artist Catherine Opie (Art MFA 88).
“It is a pleasure to join forces with our colleagues and friends at the Hammer Museum and support Cathy together. Her ongoing personal commitment and support of L.A. art institutions is a testament to how much she cares about our community,” MOCA Director Philippe Vergne says in a press release. “The way she looks at the world, the city, the citizens, whoever they are, whoever they love, whatever they do, constitutes us as a community. It is an honor to show her work.”
MOCA Pacific Design Center
On view until May 8 is Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road at MOCA Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Calif. The show takes its title from the Bel-Air address of the late actress Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away in 2011. Inspired by photographs of Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tenn., Opie creates a portrait of Taylor through images of her personal space and mementos.
From the press release:
With an investigative eye, Opie documents the grandeur and minute details of the home in a range of visual scales. Scrutiny tempered with restraint allows objects to accumulate, rooms to become landscapes, and clothing to be transformed into fields of color and texture.
The Hammer Museum
Catherine Opie: Portraits is on view at the Hammer Museum in Westwood, Calif. is from Jan. 30 through May 22. Twelve portraits of Opie’s creative friends, including long-time CalArts faculty John Baldessari (Chouinard 59), visual artists Glenn Ligon and Kara Walker and novelist Jonathan Franzen, are featured along with one abstract photograph. The works, the artist says in a Los Angeles Times interview, are “in conversation” with her love of old-master portraiture.
From the L.A. Times:
There’s a painterly quality to the portraits. Faces or isolated objects glow in rich light as the rest of the composition seemingly melts into darkness. In one, artist Glenn Ligon looks off, melancholic, his face and neck seemingly disembodied and floating. Franzen appears from behind, flipping through a book; the pages pop, bathed in milky white light, while much of his body, in a dark suit, fades into the background.
Above: Promotional video for ‘Catherine Opie: Portraits.’
Catherine Opie Solo Exhibitions
Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road
Jan. 23 through May 8
MOCA Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood
Catherine Opie: Portraits
Jan. 30 through May 22
10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles