This exhibition presents new and recent work by Los Angeles-based artist Catherine Opie, one of the essential figures in contemporary photography. Beginning in 2010, Opie spent six months taking photographs at the Bel Air, California, residence of Elizabeth Taylor (1932–2011). The exhibition includes fifty works drawn from two series, Closets and Jewels and 700 Nimes Road. Opie’s lens captures the essence of the Hollywood legend through her personal objects and mementos, and portrays Taylor’s life experience and eccentricity as an illusory subject, one that cannot be specifically designated or precisely described. In the artist’s words, the project is not about the relationship to celebrity but about “the relationship to what is human.”
Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. This exhibition is made possible with lead support provided by J.P. Morgan Private Bank and major support from Jamie McCourt, and Gilena Simons.
Lead support for UMMA’s installation is provided by the University of Michigan Health System, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, and Alan Hergott and Curt Shepard. Additional generous support is provided by the University of Michigan Department of the History of Art, Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, and Department of American Culture.