Lisa Oppenheim

Henry Wolf Chair, Photography (Spring 2023)

Oppenheim was born in 1975 in New York City, where she currently lives and works. She received her BA from Brown University in 1998, and later and an MFA from the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts at Bard College in 2001. She also attended the Whitney Independent Study Program from 2002-2003 and the Rijksakademie van beeldedne kunsten in Amsterdam from 2004-2006.

Oppenheim’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (2017), Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (2016), FRAC Champagne-Ardenne (2015), Kunstverein in Hamburg (2014), Grazer Kunstverein, (2014). In 2014, Oppenheim was the recipient the AIMIA|AGO Photography Prize from the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Shpilman International Photography Prize from the Israel Museum. Notable group exhibitions include Afterlives, The Jewish Museum, New York (2021); Off the Record, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2021);  Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography, The Getty Center, Los Angeles (2015); Photo-Poetics, Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle, Berlin and Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015);  AIMIA|AGO Photography Prize Exhibition, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2014); and New Photography at The Museum of Modern Art (2013). Her work will be included in the upcoming traveling exhibition Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction, curated by Lynne Cooke in 2023-2024.

Oppenheim's work is held in the permanent collections of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Museum of Modern Art, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Israel Museum, Jerusalem,  MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, The Jewish Museum, New York and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, among others. 

She is represented in New York and Los Angeles by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery and in London by the Approach. 

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.