Alexander Gray Associates, New York (JAM2)
Lorraine O’Grady (b. 1934; lives and works in New York City)
For more than four decades, Lorraine O’Grady has challenged cultural conventions. Her multidisciplinary practice seeks to confront the limitations of a culture built on exclusivity and resistance to difference. Advocating for concepts like hybridity, gender fluidity, and process rather than resolution, O’Grady uses a variety of mediums that include performance, photo installation, moving media, and photomontage.
In the 1980s, O’Grady created her ground-breaking performance Mlle Bourgeoise Noire (1980–83). Making unannounced appearances at openings at JAM and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire attacked the racial apartheid and sexism of the mainstream art world. In contrast, O’Grady’s more recent series champion hybrid subject positions by playing with the diptych. In Cutting Out CONYT (1977/2017), the artist repurposes her 1977 series of poems, Cutting Out The New York Times, into 26 new “haiku diptychs.” By concentrating and refining the voice of the original poems, Cutting Out CONYT serves as a bridge between O’Grady’s early and later works.
Lorraine O’Grady’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power”, Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (2017), traveled to Brooklyn Museum, New York (2018) and The Broad, Los Angeles (2019); “From Me to Them to Me Again”, Savannah College of Art and Design Museum of Art, GA (2018); “Family Gained”, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (2018); and “Lorraine O’Grady: Initial Recognition”, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain (2016). Her artwork has been acquired by the Art Institute of Chicago; Tate Modern, London; The Museum of Modern Art; and Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.