Catherine Opie

Catherine Opie

Chicago: American Cities

By Elizabeth A. T. Smith

Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, Hardcover, 9780933856868, 48pp.

Publication Date: September 2006

This group of 18 darkly radiant images of Chicago is the latest in the Los Angeles-based artist Catherine Opie's photographic series, "American Cities," ongoing since 1997. Seeking to uncover aspects of each city's psychic and physical identity and sense of community, Opie's series has taken on Minneapolis, St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York and now Chicago--the American "City of Architecture." This newest body of work consists of a group of 14 nocturnal black-and-white photographs of Chicago's architectural landscape alongside a set of four deep, four-color "portrait" views of Lake Michigan at different seasons of the year. At only $12, the book itself is small enough to serve as the perfect sophisticated souvenir, and yet monumental in every way.

About the Author
Elizabeth A. T. Smith is an art historian, curator, and writer. She has worked as Chief Curator and Deputy Director for programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and as curator at MOCA Los Angeles, where she organized Blueprints for Modern Living: History and Legacy of the Case Study Houses. Smith has taught at the University of Southern California and the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.