Lorraine O'Grady

The Fir-Palm (1991/2012)
Silver gelatin print (photomontage); 50h x 40w in (127h x 101.6w cm)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
The Fir-Palm (1991/2012)
Silver gelatin print (photomontage); 50h x 40w in (127h x 101.6w cm)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
Body/Ground (The Clearing: or Cortez and La Malinche. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, N. and Me) (1991/2012)
Silver gelatin print (photomontage); diptych; 40h x 50w in (101.6h x 127w cm) (each)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
Body/Ground (The Clearing: or Cortez and La Malinche. Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, N. and Me) (1991/2012)
Silver gelatin print (photomontage); diptych; 40h x 50w in (101.6h x 127w cm) (each)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
Untitled (Mlle Bourgeoise Noire Beats Herself with the Whip-That-Made-Plantations-Move) (1980-83/2009)
Silver gelatin print; 50h x 40w in (127h x 101.6w cm)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
Untitled (Mlle Bourgeoise Noire Beats Herself with the Whip-That-Made-Plantations-Move) (1980-83/2009)
Silver gelatin print; 50h x 40w in (127h x 101.6w cm)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
Art Is. . . (Man with a Camera) (1983/2009)
C-print in 40 parts; 16h x 20w in (40.64h x 50.8w cm)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
Art Is. . . (Man with a Camera) (1983/2009)
C-print in 40 parts; 16h x 20w in (40.64h x 50.8w cm)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
Miscegenated Family Album (Sisters I), L: Nefernefruaten Nefertiti; R: Devonia Evangeline O'Grady (1980/1994)
Cibachrome prints; 26h x 37w in (66.04h x 93.98w cm)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
Miscegenated Family Album (Sisters I), L: Nefernefruaten Nefertiti; R: Devonia Evangeline O'Grady (1980/1994)
Cibachrome prints; 26h x 37w in (66.04h x 93.98w cm)
Edition of 8 with 1 AP
The First and the Last of the Modernists Diptych 1 Red (Charles and Michael) (2010)
Fujiflex print; 46.75h x 37.38w in (118.75 x 94.95w cm)  
Edition of 8 with 2 AP
The First and the Last of the Modernists Diptych 1 Red (Charles and Michael) (2010)
Fujiflex print; 46.75h x 37.38w in (118.75 x 94.95w cm)
Edition of 8 with 2 AP

Biography

 view entire CV PDF 154 K

Lorraine O’Grady (b.1934) combines complex notions related to humanist studies on gender, the politics of diaspora and identity, and reflections on aesthetics by using a variety of mediums that include performance, photo installations, moving media, and photomontage. A native of Boston, MA, her work involves her heritage as a New Englander, and daughter of parents from Caribbean and Irish backgrounds. After she graduated from Wellesley College in 1954 studying economics and literature, she served as an intelligence analyst for the United States government, a literary commercial translator, and rock music critic. Turning to visual arts in the late 1970s, OʼGrady became an active voice within the alternative New York art world of the time. In addition to addressing feminist concerns, her work tackled cultural perspectives, which were underrepresented during the feminist movements of the early 1970s.

In the 1980s, O’Grady created two of her most notable bodies of works, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire (1980–83), a guerilla performance taking place in the heart of New York’s downtown art scene, and Art Is . . . (1983), a joyful performance in Harlem's African-American Day Parade in September 1983. In Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, O’Grady takes on an extravagant persona under the Futurist dictum that art has the power to change the world and was in part created as a critique of the racial apartheid still prevailing in the mainstream art world. Wearing a costume made of 180 pairs of white gloves from Manhattan thrift shops and carrying a white cat-o-nine-tails made of sail rope from a seaport store and studded with white chrysanthemums, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire (Miss Black Middle-Class) was an equal-opportunity critic. She gave both timid black artists and thoughtless white institutions a “piece of her mind.” Under this persona, O’Grady visited the bourgeoning Just Above Midtown black avant-garde gallery, then the recently opened New Museum.



Art Is . . . embodies O’Grady’s desire to fully connect with the audience, The performance was undertaken in a spirit of elation which carried over through the day; unlike previous works which had critiqued the art world from within, this piece was to be about life and art. O’Grady The 9 x 15 ft. antique-styled gold frame mounted on the gold-skirted parade float moved slowly up Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, framing everything it passed as art. Today, the work is a compelling reminder of the politic and power of art making, and the joy in experiencing art itself.



Concerned with the lack of African-American representation in the Feminist movement of the 1970s, O’Grady critiqued the effort’s inability to “make itself meaningful to working-class white women and to non-white women of all classes.” O’Grady has maintained an ongoing commitment to articulating “hybrid” subjective positions that span a range of races, classes and social identities. In addition to her work as a visual artist, she has also made innovative contributions to cultural criticism with her writings, including the now canonical article, “Olympia's Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity”.

Lorraine O’Grady’s work has been recently exhibited in the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2014); Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2013 and 2012); the Whitney Biennial, New York, NY (2012 and 2010); Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar (2012); La Triennale Paris 2012, France; Prospect.2 New Orleans, LA (2011); Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa (2011); Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain (2010); Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2008); and Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2008); among others. Her work was featured in the landmark exhibition, WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, organized by Connie Butler for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Her work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum; the Brooklyn Museum, and numerous private collections. She was a resident artist at Artpace San Antonio, TX. O’Grady has received numerous awards, including the CAA Lifetime Achievement Award, the Art Matters grant and United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow.

Articles / Reviews

  • O'Grady Posture Mag  September 30, 2014  PDF 1.4 MB
  • O'Grady Hyperallergic  August 29, 2014  PDF 291 K
  • O'Grady New York Times  September 20, 2013  PDF 162 K
  • O'Grady LA Weekly  March 27, 2013  PDF 143 K
  • O'Grady ARC Magazine  March 3, 2013  PDF 77 K
  • O'Grady Artforum  March 2013  PDF 97 K
  • O'Grady Artforum.com  December 26, 2012  PDF 70 K
  • O'Grady Art in America  October 2012  PDF 117 K
  • O'Grady Artforum  Summer 2012  PDF 173 K
  • O'Grady Jeu de Paume  May 24, 2012  PDF 2.5 MB
  • O'Grady This Week in New York  May 22, 2012  PDF 0.8 MB
  • O'Grady New York Times  May 17, 2012  PDF 233 K
  • O'Grady Artforum.com  May 9, 2012  PDF 255 K
  • O'Grady Art Fag City  May 8, 2012  PDF 0.9 MB
  • O'Grady New Yorker  May 2012  PDF 631 K
  • O'Grady Artnet  April 27, 2012  PDF 331 K
  • O'Grady Village Voice  April 25, 2012  PDF 401 K
  • O'Grady Frieze  January-February 2011  PDF 165 K
  • O'Grady ARC Magazine  2011  PDF 0.9 MB
  • O'Grady Mousse 24  June 2010  PDF 6.4 MB
  • O'Grady El País  March 8, 2010  PDF 101 K
  • O'Grady V Magazine  Spring 2010  PDF 135 K
  • O'Grady New York Times  February 26, 2010  PDF 495 K
  • O'Grady Art in America  February 23, 2010  PDF 292 K
  • O'Grady Art Newspaper  December 5, 2009  PDF 1.5 MB
  • O'Grady Artforum article by Lorraine O'Grady  May 2009  PDF 225 K
  • O'Grady Artforum  May 2009  PDF 4.5 MB
  • O'Grady Artforum  May 2009  PDF 10.3 MB
  • O'Grady Artforum  December 2008  PDF 1.9 MB
  • O'Grady Modern Painters  November 2008  PDF 587 K
  • O'Grady San Antonio Express-News  July 25, 2007  PDF 60 K
  • O'Grady New York Times  March 9, 2007  PDF 120 K
  • O'Grady New York Times  March 24, 2006  PDF 61 K
  • O'Grady Thomas Feucht-Haviar unpublished text  2005  PDF 71 K
  • O'Grady Third Text  Winter 2000  PDF 238 K
  • O'Grady Courtney R. Baker unpublished text  March 2000  PDF 131 K
  • O'Grady ArtNet.com  November 17, 1998  PDF 46 K
  • O'Grady Review  October 15, 1998  PDF 81 K
  • O'Grady University of Minnesota Press  1997  PDF 290 K
  • O'Grady Hartford Advocate  June 29, 1995  PDF 117 K
  • O'Grady Boston Globe  September 23, 1994  PDF 87 K
  • O'Grady New Observations  September-October 1993  PDF 196 K
  • O'Grady Arts Magazine  April 1991  PDF 58 K
  • O'Grady Z Magazine  July-August 1988  PDF 47 K
  • O'Grady Annual Journal  1980  PDF 80 K