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

CATHERINE OPIE: The "Domestic" Series
April 17 - May 22, 1999
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 - 5:00 pm
Opening reception: Saturday, April 17th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of Catherine Opie's new photographs titled, the "Domestic" series. For these new works, Opie traveled in an RV across the United States on a two month roadtrip photographing lesbian couples or families in their homes and environments. The resulting large-scale color portraits are accompanied by a group of smaller still life images from these various settings. Elements of Opie's previous "Portrait" and "House" series are present in the "Domestic" photographs. As with these earlier bodies of work, the typologies Opie examines uniquely join the personal and the purely documentary.

Genres are collapsed in Opie's photographs. As Joshua Decter writes, "Opie's earlier pictures could be understood as a dovetailing of documentary and portraiture ... the pictures become symbolic of the way represented individuals collaborated with the artist to construct their own apparently specific subject positions. ...Appearance, though, in Opie's work is always quietly paradoxical." Formally, Opie's work also eludes classification. Decter continues, "A studied neutrality... emerges in relation to the esthetics of Opie's photos; she has navigated the question of style by cultivating an alluring sort of stylelessness. In her portraits, this effect of stylelessness always seemed to imply that "the artist" could be located, at least symbolically, in relation to --or through-- the sexual-cultural politics of her subject."
(Decter. Artforum. September 1996)

Opie's new breed of documentary photography is primarily focused on the idea of community and how communities are formed and identified. Opie explains that it is the "individual ...within the construct of a community" that she is examining. (Catherine Opie. MoCA. 1998) As in the "Portrait" series, which documents the gay and lesbian S&M community, the "Domestic" photographs also explore how a person or an identity can be "documented." The cool gaze of the "Domestic" subjects seems to just miss the viewer's eye, alluding to a sort of objectivity that is at odds with the intimacy of the home.

Opie's work has been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Opie was awarded the Citibank Emerging Artist Award in 1998. A solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles was organized in conjunction with this award.

An opening reception for Catherine Opie will be held on Saturday, April 17th at Regen Projects from 6:00-8:00 pm. For further information please contact Shaun Caley Regen or Lisa Overduin at the gallery at (310) 276-5424.