Last we left Catherine Opie and her Art21 appearance, she was working on a collection of photos to be shown at the Cleveland Clinic that celebrates some of the calming beauty of Ohio, her homestate. We thought that was it as it was such a contained and finished looking segment. Well, surprise, Art21 has followed up with a look at her new body of work up at the Cleveland Clinic! Looks great, too.
The video follows Opie explaining the relationship between her work and the hospital it inhabits. The installation–Somewhere in the Middle–she describes as art that can be engaging for people who are in hospitals dealing with often heavy situations. She finds art is an alternative to a hospital chapel. “You do need places that you are allowed to go and have moments and thoughts and feelings that aren’t necessarily just within this one place of worship,” she explains as she tours the corridor that her art is housed in. Joanne Cohen–Cleveland Clinic’s Curator–echoes Opie, furthering that art in their facility is a healer and alternative for people to reflect. What a cool hospital!
As you can tell, the work by this Los Angeles by way of Ohio artist is very much removed from where she lives now, LA. However, as she mentions in the video, there is a relationship between several types of landscapes. The blue in her almost abstract works, these cold seas, are almost direct confrontations to the warm yellows of deserts we have in Southern California. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. Although Opie will not have the work exhibited anywhere else nor does she want it to be anywhere else, we do hope that LA hospitals and care facilities take note of what Cleveland Clinic is doing and thusly tap into our large community of contemporary artists. We’d love to see Cleveland Clinic’s model here.
Catch the video below and, if you haven’t read it yet, check out our Featured Interview with Opie here. (Another note: If you look closely in the video, Opie is totally wearing some l.a.Eyeworks. Small town!!)