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Acclaimed Photographer Cathy Opie to speak September 12, 2013 at NYU’s Fales Library

September 5, 2013
N-8, 2013-14

New York University’s Fales Library and New York City’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art will present a lecture by the internationally acclaimed photographer Cathy Opie on Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at the Fales Library, third floor, Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, (at LaGuardia Place). [Subways A,C,E, B,D,M to West 4th Street; 6 line to Astor Place; R train to 8th Street.]  The talk is part of the Leslie-Lohman Museum’s Queer Art Lecture Series.

The public may RSVP to: with your name and title/date of the event.

Perhaps the most celebrated living queer photographer, Opie is also a founding figure in queer art generally, whose studio portraits rose to prominence in the 1990s in part due to her repeated subversion of familiar expectations and social codes. In the 1993 photograph Self-Portrait/ Cutting she sits back to the camera, a child-like drawing of a house, a sun peeking through clouds and two women holding hands cut into the skin of her back, the dewy blood outlining the image against her skin. Subsequent series undercut gender expectations and gave form to a still nascent queer theory's notion of gender as performance.

But she then moved beyond these various species of queer self-representation to photograph presumptively heterosexual adolescent men playing football, underscoring that the performance of gender is hardly a quality of queers alone. Her moody images of surfers and of baroque highway cloverleafs further complicates any neat thematic trajectory in her work. Made the subject of a major, superlatively reviewed mid-career retrospective at the Guggenheim in the fall of 2008, Opie has been one of the rare queer artists to have achieved mainstream success on her own terms. One of the most visible lesbian artists in the world, Opie will discuss, among other things the tension among the personal, the particular, the universal and the general in her work.

Currently a photography professor at UCLA, Opie was born in Sandusky, Ohio and received her MFA from CalArts in 1988. Her work has been widely exhibited in the US, Europe, and Japan. In 2013 she was given the Julius Shulman Excellence in Photography Award, and was awarded a United States Artists Fellowship in 2006.

Recent solo exhibitions have been organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, CT, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Saint Louis Art Museum, the Photographers’ Gallery in London, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the Long Beach Museum of Art.

The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the world’s first museum dedicated solely to providing a venue for multi-disciplinary work that engages gay and lesbian historical, social, or political issues still excluded from mainstream venues. 

Jonathan D. Katz, Director of the University at Buffalo’s Visual Studies PhD program, President of the Leslie-Lohman Museum, and curator of the series, commented on Opie’s visit: “When we first began the Leslie-Lohman Lectures, Cathy Opie was the opening name on the list. But she is heavily in demand and we are thus only now able to bring her to New York City. She is a warm, engaging speaker and her work veers between compelling and brilliant. This is a program not to miss.”

The Queer Art Lecture Series is dedicated to queer art and artists, showcasing the most significant contemporary queer artists with an emphasis on exploring the relationship between their sexuality and their art. This lecture will also be presented Burchfield Penny Art Center (1300 Elmwood Ave) at the University at Buffalo on September 16th at 7:00pm.

Opie’s appearance is additionally co-sponsored by: the UB Graduate Group in Queer Studies; UB Law School’s OUTLaw; and Gay and Lesbian Youth Services (GLYS) of Western New York.


Contact information:

Jonathan David Katz, Ph.D. Director, Visual Studies, University of Buffalo | 646-241-5241 |

Jerry Kajpust, Deputy Director for External Relations, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art | 212-431-2609 |

About Fales Library and Special Collections:

The Fales Library, comprising nearly 355,000 volumes, and over 10,000 linear feet of archive and manuscript materials, houses the Fales Collection of rare books and manuscripts in English and American literature, the Downtown Collection, the Food and Cookery Collection and the general Special Collections of the NYU Libraries. The Fales Collection was given to NYU in 1957 by DeCoursey Fales in memory of his father, Haliburton Fales. It is especially strong in English literature from the middle of the 18th century to the present, documenting developments in the novel. The Downtown Collection documents the downtown New York art, performance, and literary scenes from 1975 to the present and is extremely rich in archival holdings, including extensive film and video objects. The Food and Cookery Collection is a vast, and rapidly expanding collection of books and manuscripts documenting food and foodways with particular emphasis on New York City. Other strengths of the collection include the Berol Collection of Lewis Carroll Materials, the Robert Frost Library, the Kaplan and Rosenthal Collections of Judaica and Hebraica and the manuscript collections of Elizabeth Robins and Erich Maria Remarque. The Fales Library preserves manuscripts and original editions of books that are rare or important not only because of their texts, but also because of their value as artifacts.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Events, Fales

Type: Press Release

Press Contact: Christopher James | (212) 998-6876

Acclaimed Photographer Cathy Opie to speak September 12, 2013 at NYU’s Fales Library

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