Catherine Opie Photographs Cliff May

Event Date: 

Sunday, February 26, 2012 to Sunday, June 17, 2012

February 26 – June 17, 2012

In conjunction with the exhibition Carefree California: Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch House, the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at the University of California, Santa Barbara has commissioned renowned American artist Catherine Opie to photograph two homes designed by Cliff May as they appear today. Opie’s oeuvre explores the idea of identity through portraits of people situated in particularized landscapes and architectures.

In an exploration of the enduring appeal of May’s designs, fifteen new photographs by Catherine Opie investigate a custom home, May’s Experimental Ranch House, in which he lived for a short time, and a home included in one of May’s large planned communities. Considering May’s themes of the Western mystique, the relationship of interior and exterior space, and the notion of carefree living, Opie’s photographs will lend a contemporary perspective to May’s architecture and its function one half-century after its design. Catherine Opie, Professor of Photography at University of California, Los Angeles, has had her work widely exhibited throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. She was the subject of a mid-career retrospective in September 2009 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York entitled Catherine Opie: American Photographer.

Old Ranch Road #4, 2011, 20 x 26.5 inches, inkjet print. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles C Catherine Opie

Old Ranch Road #4, 2011, 20 x 26.5 inches, inkjet print. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles C Catherine Opie