Catherine Opie: The Present is Reflected in the Past

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monument in a park surrounded by green trees and green grass.

Catherine Opie, Untitled, (2020). photo / © Catherine Opie, courtesy of Regen Projects, and Lehmann Maupin.

John A. Cooper Visiting Artist Lecture Series


Catherine Opie (b. 1961, Sandusky, Ohio) is an artist working with photography, film, collage, and ceramics in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and abroad and is held in over 50 major collections throughout the world. Opie was a recipient of The Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019, The Smithsonian's Archives of American Art Medal in 2016, The Julius Shulman Excellence in Photography Award in 2013, and a U.S. Artists Fellowship in 2006. In September of 2008, the Guggenheim Museum in New York opened a mid-career exhibition titled, Catherine Opie: American Photographer. A large survey of Opie's work opened at the Henie Onstad Art Center in Sandvika, Norway in 2017. She debuted her film, The Modernist, at Regen Projects, Los Angeles in 2018. Her forthcoming monograph, Catherine Opie, will be published by Phaidon in May 2021. 

Opie received a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute, California, and an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in 1988. She holds the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Endowed Chair in Art at the University of California, Los Angeles where she is a professor of Photography.


Catherine Opie has always explored community and identity through photography. From her early portraits of her friends in San Francisco to her own family, to high school football players, to her recent work traveling throughout America during the pandemic, she becomes a bearer of witness with her camera. She believes it is the artist's civic duty to participate in this political moment in history and to create change through their voice.

Catherine Opie is the first speaker for the John A. Cooper Visiting Artist Lecture Series.

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