Lorraine O’Grady Retrospective at the Weatherspoon Art Museum

Lorraine O'Grady. Art Is. . . (Girl Pointing), 1983/2009, C-print, 22 1/8 x 27 1/8 x 1 5/8 in framed (56.2 x 68.9 x 4.1 cm framed), edition of 8 plus 1 AP
Lorraine O'Grady. Art Is. . . (Girl Pointing), 1983/2009, C-print, 22 1/8 x 27 1/8 x 1 5/8 in framed (56.2 x 68.9 x 4.1 cm framed), edition of 8 plus 1 AP

Alexander Gray Associates announces Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And, a retrospective of the artist’s work in performance, conceptual, and feminist art, will be on view at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina Greensboro from January 8 — April 30, 2022. This exhibition, which premiered at the Brooklyn Museum from March 5 – July 18, 2021, 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.

The institution’s press release follows:

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.

Recent Press:

The New York Times

Alexander Gray Associates

Alexander Gray Associates is a contemporary art gallery in New York City and Germantown NY. Through exhibitions, research, and artist representation, the Gallery spotlights artistic movements and artists who emerged in the mid- to late-Twentieth Century. Influential in cultural, social, and political spheres, these artists are notable for creating work that crosses geographic borders, generational contexts and artistic disciplines. Alexander Gray Associates is an organization committed to anti-racist and feminist principles.