Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And
, on loan from the Brooklyn Museum in New York, is the first comprehensive overview of the work of Lorraine O’Grady (born in Boston, 1934), one of the most significant figures in contemporary performance, conceptual, and feminist art. O’Grady is widely known for her radical persona Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, and has a complex practice that also encompasses video, photomontage, concrete poetry, cultural criticism, and public art. The artist has consistently been ahead of her time, anticipating contemporary art world conversations about racism, sexism, institutional inequities, and cultural oversights by decades, and her prescience has inspired younger generations of artists.
Raised in Boston by middle-class Jamaican immigrant parents and educated at Wellesley College, O’Grady spent years working as an intelligence analyst for the US government, as a translator, and as a rock music critic before beginning her career as a visual artist in the late 1970s at the age of 45. Throughout her work, O’Grady has called attention to the deeply segregated nature of the art world while also continually imagining her own history, body, and relationships, within a cultural landscape that often makes it difficult for Black women to speak for themselves.
These parallel threads—of outward critique and inward reflection—are some of the many binaries that O’Grady’s work addresses. By putting seemingly contradictory ideas together, O’Grady questions the power attached to such oppositions as Black and White, museum and individual, self and other, West and non-West, and past and present. The exhibition’s subtitle Both/And
, emphasizes the artist’s ambitious goal of dismantling either/or thinking in favor of broader possibilities.
Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is organized by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum, and writer Aruna D’Souza with Jenée-Daria Strand, Curatorial Assistant, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum. Leadership support for this exhibition is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Its presentation at the Weatherspoon Art Museum is generously supported by Bank of America, Beatrice Schall, Sydney Gingrow, Carol Cole Levin, and Tim Warmath and Edward Comber.NOTE:
On Saturdays, beginning January 15
and continuing through April 30
, WAM docents will be available at 1-1:30pm
to introduce drop-in guests to the Lorraine O'Grady Both/And
exhibition.Full press release here.RELATED PROGRAMS:Saturday Docent Drop-In Tours
• Saturdays: January 15 - April 30 @ 1-1:30pmHow Do I Look? Looking at Lorraine O'Grady
• Thursday, February 10 @ 12- 12:45pm, virtual eventHow Do I Look? Looking at Lorraine O'Grady
• Friday, March 18 @ 12-12:45pm, virtual eventAn Interactive Engagement with the Artworks of Lorraine O'Grady
• Thursday, March 24 @ 5:30pm, virtual event