MOCA and Hammer Museum Set Simultaneous Catherine Opie Exhibitions

The L.A. artist will present new works featuring the home of Elizabeth Taylor as well as portraits of notable names like Jonathan Franzen and Matthew Barney.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Artist Catherine Opie, left, and Julie Burleigh attend the 2015 MOCA Gala.

Call it Catherine Opie times two. 

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Hammer Museum will each present a solo exhibition featuring work by the well-known L.A. photographer to run simultaneously. 

Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road will be on view at MOCA Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood, on Jan. 23-May 8; Catherine Opie: Portraits will be featured at the Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood, from Jan. 30-May 22. 

In making the announcement, MOCA director Philippe Vergne praised the artist by offering: “The way Cathy 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.” Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin praised Opie as "one of the most significant artists working in photography as a documentarian of the American landscape and people of her generation." 

700 Nimes Road comprises Opie's new and recent photographs taken over the course of six months at the Bel-Air estate of the late Elizabeth Taylor. Said to be inspired by William Eggleston’s images of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, the collection includes images of Taylor's personal space and mementos. And yes, that means clothes, shoes and jewels. MOCA chief curator Helen Molesworth organized the collection with major support provided by J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

The Hammer Museum portion of the collaborative effort will showcase 12 portraits from Opie's recent work, including shots of Jonathan Franzen, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Mary Kelly, Matthew Barney, Glenn Ligon, John Baldessari, Kara Walker, Miranda July, Raymond Pettibon, Ron Athey and Ryan McGinness, alongside a new abstract landscape.

Hammer chief curator Connie Butler organized with curatorial associate Emily Gonzalez-Jarrett.

A native of Sandusky, Ohio, Opie lives and works in L.A. and is a professor of photography at UCLA.


A photograph from Catherine Opie's "700 Nimes Road." (Credit: Courtesy of MOCA.)

A photograph from Catherine Opie's "700 Nimes Road." (Credit: Courtesy of MOCA.)

 
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