Catherine Opie, Bo, 1994
This is the first British solo exhibition for one of America's
most significant contemporary photographers. Catherine Opie brings
a deep understanding of photographic history and a breathtaking
technical virtuousity to bear on the diverse subjects she photographs.
Opie was acclaimed in the mid-90s for a series Portraits, which
documented a group of transgendered lesbians and their complex
body culture with its exuberant tattooes and piercings, muscles
and facial hair. The series heralded what was to become the consistent
concern of Opie's work: the endowment of ordinary or misrepresented
subjects with beauty, grandeur and dignity. Whether photographing
the sweeping freeway systems of her native Los Angeles, the undistinguished
mini-mall buildings of the city's commercial strips, or the facades
of private houses in Be Air suburbia, Opie's photographs are
always precisely composed, exquisitely printed and poetic in
their effect. The exhibition premieres a new series of photographs
titled Domestic, intimate and joyous portraits of lesbian families
living across the States, which celebate a domestic ideal quite
different to the American Dream.
Catherine Opie, Jerome Caja, 1993
Catherine Opie, Flipper, Tanya, Chloé
and Harriet, San francisco, California, 1995
Catherine Opie, Melissa & Lake,
Durham North Carolina, 1998.