Catherine Opie lives and works in Los Angeles. She was born in Sandusky, Ohio, in 1961. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1985, and an MFA from CalArts in 1988. In 2000, Opie was appointed Professor of Fine Art at Yale University; in 2001, she accepted the position of Professor of Photography at UCLA.
Opie has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally. In 2008, a mid-career survey of her work, Catherine Opie: American Photographer, was presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Her most recent solo exhibition, Catherine Opie: Empty and Full, opened at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston in April 2011 and includes, among other work, selected photographs from her Inauguration series. Other solo exhibitions have been organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Saint Louis Art Museum; the Photographers’ Gallery, London; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Opie has exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; SITE Santa Fe; the Centre d'Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland; and the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in Germany.
Opie has been honored with many awards throughout her career. In 2009, she received the President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Women’s Caucus for Art; in 2006, she was the recipient of a United States Artists Fellowship; in 2004, she received the Larry Aldrich Award; in 1999, she was the recipient of the Washington University Freund Fellowship; and in 1997, she received the Citibank Private Bank Emerging Artist Award.
Opie's work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums and institutions throughout the world, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Tate, London; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Lambert Art Collection, Geneva, Switzerland; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; the Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands; the Miami Art Museum; the MacArthur Foundation, Chicago; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.