Regen Projects
629 North Almont Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Tel. (310) 276-5424
Fax. (310) 276-7430

April 27th - June 1st, 1996
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 - 5:00
Opening reception: Saturday, April 27th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Regen Projects is pleased to announce the debut Los Angeles exhibition of Catherine Opie's "Houses" and "Landscapes," photographed in Bel Air and Beverly Hills. The exhibition will consist of a number of 40 x 50" "Houses" and a few of the 20 x 24" "Landscapes."

In her last show at Regen Projects, Opie presented her color-saturated "Portrait" series, documenting her friends in the gay and lesbian leather community, as a royal portrait series which invoked the old master portraiture of Holbein. In a series concurrent with the "Portraits" Opie documented, with a panoramic camera, the "Freeways" around Los Angeles, which were printed in platinum, and are jewel like images which unmistakably invoke L.A.
In the current series, Opie has taken a 8 x 10 hand-made camera and has set out to document yet another strata of Los Angeles. Locating houses built primarily in the late 50s and early 60s, or renovated in the "regency" style, she has set her sights on the million dollar estates in Beverly Hills and Bel Air. Shot frontally and in color, Opie explores the facades, enormous (and always closed) doors, security placards, daunting gates, and odd architectural follies that originated in southern California, and later became rampant throughout America. Both compelling and repellent, the signifying features of each house are about identification, as are the tattoos or cuttings of her friends in the "Portrait" series. Although in the "Houses" and "Landscapes" there's a marked, wry distance (this is not Opie's community) and a wistfulness, not unlike her Self-Portrait (1993) with the cutting of her domestic ideal on her back, these houses seem to be unattainable. The "Landscapes" on view are lush overviews of Beverly Hills and Bel Air, dotted with turquoise blue swimming pools, power lines, construction blights, and the big Los Angeles sky.

The typologies Opie has taken on explore the personal and the purely documentary. In a recent NY review a critic said, "If there's a continuous theme in Opie's work, it's Los Angeles itself. She documents its environment and inhabitants in dramatic fashion, with a formal control that transforms her images into pure poetry."

Opie's work was presented in the 1995 Whitney Biennial and has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally.

An opening reception for the artist will be held on April 27th at Regen Projects from 6:00-8:00pm. For further information please contact Stuart Regen, Shaun Caley, or Chip Tom at the gallery (310) 276-5424.