Press Contents | by others

{catalogue essays & book discussions} | journal articles | solo reviews | group show reviews | handouts

Bennett Simpson, 2012

In a catalogue with the improvisational quality of the music, the final section of Blues for Smoke curator Simpson's essay "This Air" is titled "The Clearing," from a piece by O'Grady of that name in the exhibit, and discusses how the piece echoes the show's themes. 

interracial sex, hybridity, photo-diptych, Western dualism, creating space for complexity

Judith Hoos-Fox, 2012

The curator of the Wellesley Davis Museum's 1994 exhibit Body As Measure, in which Miscegenated Family Album was first shown, looks back movingly on her encounter with the work in the artist's studio and on the complexities of purchasing work by an alumna.

1990s, diaspora, diptych, Sisters, present-past mirroring, curatorial issues, gender and racial representation

This Will Have Been, 2012

Analysis of O'Grady's 1983 Afro-American Day Parade, Harlem, performance Art Is…, in the groundbreaking exhibit This Will Have Been: Art, Love and Politics in the 1980s, curated by Helen Molesworth. Essay by Jordan Troeller.

carnival, avant-garde performance, Marcel Duchamp, marginalization, high art, democratized art, reconciliation of opposites, Art Is..., Mlle Bourgeoise Noire

James Rondeau, 2007, 2011

Rondeau, guest curator of New Works 07.2, Artpace San Antonio, 2007, analyzes O’Grady’s residency project, the 6-channel video installation Persistent, memorializing a local multi-ethnic dance club controversially shut down.

multi-ethnic community, commercial interests, erasure of difference, individuals, memory of place, pop culture

Buffalo Biennial, 2010

Catalogue essay for Beyond/In Western New York on O’Grady’s two-part exhibit: The Clearing: or Cortez and La Malinche, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, N. and Me, photomontage diptych, 1991; and her new complement to it: Landscape (Western Hemisphere)

interracial sex, black female subjectivity, censorship, hybridity, Western dualism, simultaneity, Surrealism

WACK! 2007

Catalogue essay by Linda Theung for WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, which opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, then traveled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; MOMA/PS1, Long Island City, NY; and the Vancouver Art Gallery, British Columbia.

biography, art-critical performance, 1980s art world racism, Just Above Midtown, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, black female subjectivity, hybridity, diptych

Anne Higonnet, 1996

Catalogue essay for the group exhibit New Histories, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA. 1996. Lia Gangitano and Steven Nelson, eds.

Baudelaire, Jeanne Duval, Picasso, diptych, Fleurs du Mal, Demoiselles d'Avignon, history of modernism, otherness, hybridity, subjectivity, Flowers of Evil and Good

Andrea Miller-Keller, 1995

Brochure article written for the one-person exhibit “Lorraine O’Grady / MATRIX 127,” The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, May 21 – Aug 20, 1995.

Western binarism, cultural hegemony, "both/and", hybridity, black female subjectivity, diptych, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, Miscegenated Family Album, biography

Judith Wilson, 1991

Catalogue essay for O'Grady's first solo exhibit: "Lorraine O'Grady," photomontages, INTAR Gallery, 420 W 42nd St, NYC, Jan 21-Feb 22, 1991. Includes authoritative account of artist's earlier career.

black genius, performance, "high-cultural warfare", biography, cultural criticism, Just Above Midtown, The Dual Soul, Rivers First Draft, The Black and White Show, Art Is...

{journal articles} | catalogue essays & book discussions | solo reviews | group show reviews | handouts

Ben Davis, 2013

ArtInfo executive editor Ben Davis's feature, "Saving Basquiat," points to O'Grady's 1993 Artforum article and highlights the question it raised: Could knowing black fine artists have saved him?

Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1980s art world, Caribbean-Americans, the Black and White Show

Wellesley Magazine, 2013

Associate editor Scanlon, writing on the newly opened Lorrraine O'Grady Papers, the College's first major alumnae archives, calls the collection a means to preserve the records of the artist's "permanent rebellion."

biography, art career overview, archive, Jamaican immigrants, Miscegenated Family Album

Andil Gosine, 2012

The unpublished article by Gosine, a York University (Toronto) professor who'd written earlier on hybridity in O'Grady's work, is a perceptive and detailed analysis of the subject's treatment in her New Worlds show at Alexander Gray, NY.

Caribbean immigrants, both/and, nature and sexuality, Landscape video, The Clearing, The Fir-Palm, hybridity, diptych, "miscegenated thinking"

Shelley Rice, 2012

Rice's familiarity with O'Grady's work over 30 years results in a theoretically astute and rotundly feminist look at how New Worlds extends the artist's ongoing critique of cultural stability from the lens of the hybridized political-personal and the colonized body.

postcolonial society, Ana Mendieta, displacement, Caribbean immigrants, The Fir-Palm, Landscape video, natural hair, Baudelaire, Miscegenated Family Album

Art Fag City, 2012

A sensitive summary of O'Grady's biography and its effect on her art, Esposito's piece sees the work as emerging from the artist's pressure to understand and become herself.

Franklin Furnace, Eleanor Antin, unanticipated audiences, feminism, guerrilla performance, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, Olympia's Maid, diaspora, BodyGround, Landscape video, First and the Last of the Modernists, history of modernism

Ben Davis, 2012

Davis's career evaluation and review of New Worlds at Alexander Gray, NY, O'Grady's show comprised of The Fir-Palm, The Clearing, and the projected video Landscape (Western Hemisphere), is suggestively sub-titled "A veteran artist turns identity into abstract art."

cultural identity, honesty, social intelligence, biography, political art, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, Art Is..., Landscape (Western Hemisphere), abstract art, video

Andil Gosine for ARC, 2011

In a new magazine devoted to artists from the Caribbean and its diaspora, a young Trinidadian-Canadian professor at Toronto’s York University sheds light on the role of hybridity in Landscape (Western Hemisphere) and its complementary work The Clearing

Caribbean, biography, post-colonial subjects, hybridity, aesthetic process, video, simultaneity, both/and, otherness, post-blackness, diaspora

Art in America, 2010

Walleston’s Art in America online interview-feature, published on the day of the V.I.P. reception for the 2010 Whitney Biennial, provided a brief but effective look at the artist's work and career.

political art, Black elegance, feminism, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, Art Is…, Relational Aesthetics, Duchamp, biography

Ancient Art Podcast, 2009

Complete transcript of podcast by Lucas Livingston, an Egyptologist associated with the Art Institute of Chicago, that discusses Nefertiti/Devonia Evangeline and Miscegenated Family Album in detail. Also a YouTube video with high-quality images.

sisters, ritual, racism in Egyptology, performance, autobiography, Martin Bernal, Black Athena, cross-cultural similarities, Ancient Egyptian history

Nick Mauss in Artforum, 2009

Mauss’s article for Artforum is, with Wilson’s INTAR catalogue essay, one of the most extended and incisive pieces on O’Grady’s oeuvre to date. It was one-half of a two-article feature that also included O’Grady’s artist portfolio for The Black and White Show.

guerrilla performance, non-art-historical genesis, counter-confessional poetry, collage aesthetic, autobiography, writing in space, RIVERS, framing, political art

Thomas Feucht-Haviar, 2005

Seminar paper on need for subjectivity and agency to restore critical judgement in face of knowledge acquisition and production that are compromised forms of power relations. Studio Art Dept, UC Irvine.

Olympia's Maid, white feminism, black female subjectivity, Western dualism, post-modern philosophy, Gayatri Spivak, hybridity, art enlarges political understanding

Kymberly N. Pinder, 2000

An article on work by artists responding to racial hybridity that features a discussion of O’Grady’s diptych, The Clearing. Published in Third Text: Critical Perspectives on Art and Culture 53, Winter 2000-01, pp 43–54.

1990s, representations of multiraciality, both/and, Tiger Woods, Western dualism, hybridity, race studies, future of race

Courtney R. Baker, 2000

Analytic reading of two “works” — Gayatri Spivak’s description of her clothing, and Lorraine O’Grady’s Flowers of Evil and Good. Unpublished paper read to a symposium at Louisiana State University, March 2000.

postcolonial subjects, political art, visual reading, Flowers of Evil and Good, palimpsest, diptych, Baudelaire, Jeanne Duval, Picasso, performance, layering

Michele Wallace, 1994

An article in dialogue with O’Grady’s “Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity.” In Generations: Academic Feminists in Dialogue, Devoney Looser and E. Ann Kaplan, eds. University of Minnesota Press, 1997.

collapsing boundaries, feminism, psychoanalysis, black female spectatorship, Stuart Hall, cultural theory, cultural hegemony, filmmaking, Spike Lee, Hollywood

Calvin Reid, 1993

The first critical article on O'Grady's work as a whole, and still one of the best. Published in New Observations #97: COLOR. September/October 1993. Special issue, edited by ADRIAN PIPER.

coming of age, black middle class, feminism, agency, hybridity, diaspora, guerrilla performance, writing in space, 1980s art world, diptych, photocollage, The Fir-Palm

Judith Wilson, 1992

Prior to O’Grady’s publication of “Olympia’s Maid,” it tellingly inflects T. Feucht-Haviar’s later paper on subjectivity as a critical category opposing regimes of knowledge acquisition and production based in compromised forms of power relations.

postmodern philosophy, cultural theory, Stuart Hall, post-colonialism, photography, Dracula and the Artist, claiming subject status, art world Euro-centrism

{solo reviews} | catalogue essays & book discussions | journal articles | group show reviews | handouts

New York Times, 2012

Cotter, long familiar with O'Grady's work, points to a new aspect of the photomontages shown in New Worlds, their "deep ambivalence." And his description of the effect of Landscape (Western Hemisphere), the video-projection, is the most allusive yet.

personal-as-political, ethnicity, West Indies, photocollage, diptych, The Clearing, the Fir-Palm, hybridity, ambiguity, conceptual art

New Yorker, 2012

Considers the New Worlds show relevant in view of the recent shooting of Trayvon Martin.

video, photocollages, The Clearing, black female body, 1990s identity politics, Trayvon Martin, recurrent racial bias issues

ArtNet, 2012

Analysis of New Worlds focusing on how the works' resistance of "easy classification" and their straddling of "artificial divides of genre and type" serve to replicate O'Grady's thoughts on the contemporary world, one "shaped and inflected by miscegenation."

feminism, hybridity, photomontage, diptych, miscegenation, The Fir-Palm, video, The Clearing, interracial couple, colonial history, Landscape (Western Hemisphere), 2012

A brief, astute statement that indicates O'Grady's intentions in naming her Alexander Gray, NY solo show New Worlds.

Landscape (Western Hemisphere), cultural identity, colonized female body, exoticness, video, photomontage, the Fir-Palm, The Clearing, interracial sexuality

Shelly Silver, 2010

A film director and Columbia University professor describes her experience seeing Art Is... at Basel Miami, then attending O’Grady’s public conversation with Roselee Goldberg and Sanford Biggers at MOMA three months later. Meditates on O’Grady’s career trajectory.

post-blackness, art world racism, cultural resistance, feminism, avant-garde, confrontational art, career, 1980s art world, Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Is...

The Art Newspaper, 2009

Gioni's one-paragraph notice with photo points to ways in which O'Grady's piece in the Alexander Gray booth at Art Basel Miami Beach questions market values. In the publication that carries most weight at the fair.

performance, collective participation, rediscovered artist, photo installation, 1980s art world, exclusion

Monocle, 2009

Rob Bound’s column on Art Basel Miami Beach features a review of O’Grady’s show and quotes by the artist, called by the British author a rara avis, by whom he is disconcerted.

Alexander Gray Associates, first-time exhibitors, solo shows, money in art world, curating, context, art history, business models, framing, photo installation

Johanna Burton, 2008

In Artforum's first review of an O'Grady solo exhibit, Burton sensitively parses the "uneasy symmetry" of the Miscegenated Family Album installation at Alexander Gray Associates, NY.

Nefertiti/Devonia Evangeline, autobiographical art, performance, ideologies of identity, projected pairs, Cibachrome diptychs, uneasy symmetry

Modern Painters, 2008

Discussion of framing as a technique of meaning in O’Grady’s conceptual photo-installation.

passe-partout, framing, photo installation, diptych, eliminating hierarchy, collapsing boundaries

Holland Cotter, 2008

The first New York Times review of a solo show by O’Grady. Lead review in the “Art in Review” section, with a photo of “Sisters I.”

WACK!, solo shows by women, conceptual art, biography, racial hybridization, social and psychological consequences, beyond irony, redemption, diptych

San Antonio Express-News, 2007

Daily newspaper review of O’Grady’s video installation Persistent, at Artpace, San Antonio, TX, July 2007. A work on dance, music, economics, and race that recalls O’Grady’s own past as a club dancer and rock critic.

cross-cultural community, real estate agenda, career, music, green screen, video wall projections, ghost dancers

Franklin Sirmans, 1998

Sirmans' review of "Studies: for a work-in-progress on Charles Baudelaire, the first Modernist poet, and his Haitian-born wife Jeanne Duval" analyzes O'Grady's conceptual oeuvre and her mid-90s computer use in order to deconstruct and reconstruct accepted reality.

1990s, Baudelaire, Picasso, historical erasure, modernism, West Indian immigrants, diptych, linked narratives, familial history, computer art, reconstructed reality

Dominique Nahas, 1998

Lengthy, historically aware review of O'Grady's first NY show of digital cibachrome studies for this work, in Review Magazine, vol 4, no 3, October 15, 1998, pp 6-7.

Baudelaire, history of modernism, diptych, Jeanne Duval, Picasso, primitive art, hybridity, otherness, appropriation, competing histories

The Hartford Advocate, 1995

Review of "Lorraine O'Grady, The Space Between, MATRIX/127," The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, May 21-Aug 20, 1995. Discusses the two-part exhibit: Miscegenated Family Album and debut installation of Mlle Bourgeoise Noire.

biography, guerrilla performance, black female subjectivity, hybridity, Western dualism, writing in space, diptych

ARTS Magazine, 1991

Excellent review of O'Grady's first solo exhibit, at INTAR Gallery. Faust confesses: "Every once and awhile I come across a show that really demands more time and space consideration." Special focus on performance docs in the photomontage show.

autobiographical art, political art, collapsing boundaries, photocollage, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, art critical performance, RIVERS, Art Is…, Miscegenated Family Album, context

Lucy Lippard, 1988

Highlighted box review, taking a retrospective look at O’Grady’s 1983 performance Art Is....  In “Sniper’s Nest,” Z Magazine, July-August 1988, p 102

parade, performance, avant-garde, black female subjectivity, class, art world, context

{group show reviews} | catalogue essays & book discussions | journal articles | solo reviews | handouts

Artforum, Summer 2012

This generally laudatory review of a groundbreaking exhibit on art of the 1980s features special attention on O'Grady's piece in the exhibit, Art Is…, seen as encapsulating the problematic of curator Helen Molesworth's strategy.

debt of 1980s art to 1970s feminism, exceeding limits of individual works by intertwining themes, Art Is... encapsulates show's issues, cultural hegemony privileges certain subjectivities, audience as subject, 2012

In French, a review of the Triennale that discusses Miscegenated Family Album and the way in which it creates a space in which to "render visible a class invisible up to now."

curating as essay writing, interdisciplinary, socio-cultural phenomena in different registers, personal comparisons via contested images, making the invisible visible

Two SITE Santa Fe reviews, 2011

Two writers respond to the piece quite similarly from different points of view. In the "Critical Reflections" section of THE Magazine, and online at Visual Art Source.

First and the Last of the Modernists, "thought experiment", strange historical pairings, subtle political subtexts, lovely compositions

Pelican Bomb, 2011

In the online magazine of the Contemporary Visual Arts Association of New Orleans, the writer says of Art Is… in Prospect.2 that the frame "not only asked 'What is art?' but also 'Who chooses what is represented and how is it perceived'" by different audiences?

harbinger of identity politics in art, disallowing exclusion, avant-garde art, seeing themselves, New Orleans African American Museum

Malik Gaines, Frieze 2011

Gaines’s end-of-year review looks at Los Angeles and examines the blurring boundaries between art and entertainment. Its pointed commentary on The First and the Last of the Modernists’ image strategies was the most perceptive on the piece to date.

Los Angeles art world, entertainment-postindustrial-complex, art civilization, thoughtful approaches to mass-image production, Whitney Biennial, Michael Jackson

Manifesta 8 press, 2010

At the close of 2010, O’Grady was in Manifesta 8, the roving European Biennial of Contemporary Art, in Murcia, Spain. In a show whose failures raised more interesting questions than its successes, the location of her piece may have interrogated the curators’ intentions.

critical premise ignored, non-collaborative collaboration, non-dialogical dialogue, deradicalized radicals, non-North African presence, more failures than successes, 2010

When her rejected 1973 review of the night Bob Marley led in for Bruce Springsteen at Max’s was finally published, in an art book, it was a rare chance for two of O’Grady careers---rock critic and conceptual artist-- to meet, as in this piece.

pre-art career, 1960s-70s New York, pop culture, the Boss-to-be

El País, Madrid, 2010

Original Spanish, plus English translation, of article in Spain’s equivalent to the New York Times. The review contains a fuller-than-usual discussion of the significance of O’Grady’s installation.

female majority, previously ignored but now recognized, neither feminist art nor odes to youth, First and the Last of the Modernists, evolution and transformation, parallelism

18 Whitney Mentions, 2010

A compilation of 18 selected and conflicting mentions of Lorraine O’Grady’s piece in the 2010 Whitney Biennial press provides an opportunity to compare responses to The First and the Last of the Modernists and parse their differences.

adult perspective, category-dodging, Dorian Grey-like photos, unsettling feeling, ballsy sweep, absurd title, sublime contrast, ideas both subtle and in-your-face, floppy grilled cheese, defining moments, ponderous, a curious series, identity, intimate and egalitarian celebrity, white superiority, at home in the night

Francesco Bonami, 2010

Transcript excerpt of a two-minute section from the 8-minute interview in which Francesco Bonami, chief curator of the 2010 Whitney Biennial, speaks about O’Grady’s piece and the room it shared with Bruce High Quality Foundation.

American Dream, collective group, First and the Last of the Modernists, two fathers of modernity, Baudelaire, Michael Jackson, one young artist and one old, summarize spirit of the Biennial

art Das Kunstmagazin, Berlin, 2008(9)

Review of feminist art show with 25 artists in exhibition, plus 80 in video archive, makes special mention of O’Grady and three other artists, including Valie Export, Yoko Ono, and Gabrielle Stötzer.

protest art, Lucy Lippard, Yoko Ono, Valie Export, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, 1980s New York art world, art world racism

Vancouver Sun, 2008

Feature article with photo describes O’Grady presenting her work on the artist gallery tour during the opening of WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution at the Vancouver Art Gallery on October 5.

uncontextualized work, lack of signage, many voices needed to define WACK! exhibition, curatorial critique, critical performance, art world apartheid, black artist timidity

The New York Times, 2007

Opening of the first major museum show of feminist art at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Holland Cotter’s feature-length review was illustrated by four works, including Mlle Bourgeoise Noire.

an art movement that was many movements, not Feminism but feminisms, women geniuses, video, performance, conceptual art, post-modernism, art-world racism, class

The New York Times, 2006

A review of three simultaneous shows presented by the Daniel Reich Gallery, NY, which singles out O'Grady for special mention in the third, "Between the Lines," curated by artist Nick Mauss at the Chelsea Hotel.

three galleries, three group shows, one of the most interesting gallery programs in New York, one of the most interesting American conceptual artists around

Boston Globe, 1994

Review of The Body As Measure, The Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, Sep 23 – Dec 18, 1994. Refers to O’Grady’s first exhibition of Miscegenated Family Album as “the most extraordinary work in the show.”

Judith Hoos-Fox, curation, family relationships, diptych, juxtaposition, parallel poses, paired moods, re-contextualizing history, Thucydides, the body

LIVE performance 5, 1980/81

Patricia S. Jones discusses a downtown gallery performance series at Just Above Midtown, NYC, Oct 1980 in a late 70s-early 80s annual journal. Article makes special note of O’Grady’s first performance of Nefertiti/Devonia Evangeline

Just Above Midtown, Dialogues show, performance series, Downtown arts groups, connecting histories, using Egyptian motifs to explicate imaginative lives, Ishmael Reed

{handouts} | catalogue essays & book discussions | journal articles | solo reviews | group show reviews

J's Theater blog, 2013

Unusually complete and profusely illustrated record of the symposium by a non-artist who allows many issues to emerge., 2012

Front page article on the college website about the artist's visit to campus for the celebration of the opening of her archive and to give a lecture.

Walker Art Center Magazine, 2012

Conversation between curator Helen Molesworth and assistant curator Bartholomew Ryan about the making of This Will Have Been: Art, Love and Politics in the 1980s. Includes interesting comments on the delayed recognition of both O'Grady and Peter Hujar.

Dorothée Dupuis, Triangle France, 2010

For a show on experimental writer, radical feminist and punk culture icon Kathy Acker, the curator’s emailed request to O’Grady to exhibit Rivers, First Draft, the first such invitation the piece had received, contained a one-paragraph summary of the 1982 performance and its relevance to Acker.

Beyond/In Western New York, 2010

Two complementary pieces, The Clearing, 1991, and Landscape (Western Hemisphere), 2010, were connected via the concept of the bridge, both in music and in O’Grady’s phrase, “Wherever I stand, I find I have to build a bridge to some other place."

Brooklyn Museum, 2010

Patrick Amsellem, Associate Curator of Photography, blogs a tribute to Miscegenated Family Album. In an analysis of the work’s intellectual and emotional success at the museum, Amsellem writes that MFA “immediately became a favorite."

yayayanonono, 2010

Fashion blogger locates an amusing connection between Mlle Bourgeoise Noire and Maison Martin Margiela.

Art Institute of Chicago, 2008

James Rondeau, curator of contemporary art at the first museum to purchase the Miscegenated Family Album installation, wrote a model wall text to introduce the work to general audiences in the Permanent Collection gallery it shared with Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Jay Lopez, 2007

The founder of the “diggindeepquartet” DJ collective and lead DJ of the closed Davenport Lounge in San Antonio — and O’Grady’s collaborator on the installation — emails a description of Persistent to his list.

Irene Cheng, 1996

Handout on O’Grady’s “unmasking” as a response to the critical tradition of fetishizing the fetish. Written to accompany “Studies for Flower of Evil and Good” in New Histories, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA. Oct 23,1996–Jan 5, 1997.

Courtney Baker, 1996

Handout on the historical and critical treatment of Jeanne Duval, accompanying “Studies for Flower of Evil and Good” in New Histories, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA. Oct 23, 1996–Jan 5, 1997. Curator: Milena Kalinovska.

Carol Dougherty, 1994

Handout written by a professor of Greek and Latin for the premiere of O’Grady’s installation Miscegenated Family Album in Body As Measure, The Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley, MA, Oct-Nov 1994.