Lorraine O'Grady

1997 - 1998 Vera List Center Fellow
Lorraine O'Grady is an artist living in New York City.

Programs and projects
Miscegenated Modernism: The Black/White Co-Creation of 20th Century Culture, The Legacy of the Feminist Art Movement, and Art and Politics: Women in Theatre

Lorraine O'Grady (b. 1934, Boston) is a conceptual artist whose work addresses issues of diaspora, hybridity, and black female subjectivity and the roles these have played in the history of modernism. O'Grady made her first public artworks in 1980 after being a student at Wellesley and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a research economist and intelligence analyst for the US Departments of Labor and State, a literary and commercial translator, and a freelance journalist who wrote for the Village Voice and Rolling Stone. In 2007, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, O'Grady's landmark 1980 performance of institutional critique, was featured in the exhibition WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution. Since then, O'Grady has been included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial; This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s (MCA Chicago, 2012); We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965-85 (Brooklyn Museum, 2017); and Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 1963-1983 (Tate Modern, 2017). She has written for Artforum and the CAA Art Journal. Major public collections of her work include the Art Institute of Chicago; the Brooklyn Museum; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Walker Art Center; and Tate Modern. She was a 1997 Fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.

O'Grady has had solo exhibits in the Matrix series of the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, and at the Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, and her group exhibits include Outside the Frame: Performance & The Object, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art; New Histories, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; NowHere, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark; and Between the Lines, Daniel Reich temp. at the Chelsea Hotel. Her work is featured in the first museum show of feminist art, Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution, opening at the L.A. Museum of Contemporary Art (Geffen Contemporary) in March 2007. In addition, O'Grady's writing and criticism has appeared in such publications as Artforum, Afterimage, X-tra, and the CAA's Art Journal. Her influential article "Olympia's Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity" is widely anthologized; she was also an important contributor to The 1980s: An Internet Conference, edited by Maurice Berger.

Writing in the New York Times of O'Grady's appearance at Daniel Reich temp, Holland Cotter described her as "one of the most interesting American conceptual artists around." (Biography as of 2006)