University of Michigan
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March 29, 2017

Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor is celebrated in UMMA exhibit

June 20, 2016

Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor is celebrated in UMMA exhibit

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Elizabeth Taylor is the focus of the new U-M Museum of Art exhibit "Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road." It presents new and recent work by Los Angeles-based artist Opie, called an essential figure in contemporary photography.

Opie photographed rooms, closets, shoes, clothing and jewelry that depict Taylor's life as a screen star and cultural icon. The artist compiles an indirect portrait of a life defined by wealth and fame. Vibrant light and color radiate the aura of a unique personality.

Beginning in 2010, Opie spent six months taking photographs at the Bel Air, California, home of Taylor, who died in 2011. Inspired by William Eggleston's images of Elvis Presley's Graceland estate in Memphis, Opie created a portrait of Taylor that captures her essence.

Opie documents the grandeur and minute details of the home in a range of visual scales. The artist says the project is not about the relationship to celebrity but about "the relationship to what is human."

The Taubman Gallery exhibit is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Admission is free.