The Wall Street series denotes a geographical shift for Catherine Opie's work, from her West Coast background to Manhattan, and these images continue a central theme in her photographs. Like the Freeways and the Mini-malls series before, Wall Street presents us with those rare moments in which a place of great traffic and mass society becomes quiet and unpopulated. Taken at dawn on weekends, these photographs reveal the bustling financial heart of New York at its most architecturally bare, for once caught without its financiers, food vendors, cars and other daily distractions.
Opie's use of black and white photography is particular to her ‘public' project series in which familiar urban spaces are revealed to have an uncanny, stage set-like quality. There is no place for colour in a landscape without life.
In the back space, the gallery will highlight a small selection of photographs from the Portraits and Domestic series, two earlier bodies of work made in 1993-94 and 1998 respectively. Opie's well-known Portraits of friends from the Los Angeles gay community show every imaginable variant of gender and sexual preference. Domestic is a series of group portraits and still-lifes of lesbian families and households taken during a three-month road trip across the American continent.
Catherine Opie has participated in group and solo exhibitions in museums all over the world. This is her first solo show in London since her exhibition at the Photographers' Gallery last summer. Recent solo shows include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2000), The Saint Louis Art Museum (2000), Thread Waxing Space in New York (2000), ArtPace in San Antonio, Texas (2000) and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (1997).