Adrienne Edwards' essay on Landscape (Western Hemisphere), written for her "Blackness in Abstraction" exhibit curated for Pace Gallery, is an intellectually brilliant and poetically sensitive reading of the array of meanings residing in the video and the most complex statement on this piece to date.
Emily Colucci's review of "Blackness in Abstraction" highlights O'Grady's full-wall video "Landscape (Western Hemisphere)" as one of the exhibit's most successful pieces both for its embrace of multiple meanings of blackness and for its abstract evocation of landscape sounds and textures.
Kirsten Swenson reviews “Lorraine O’Grady” at Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts — Notes uncanny intersections of O’Grady’s early works with contemporary events. Concludes, “Now, we are beginning to see her art.”
Aria Dean’s “Closing the Loop” — In contrasting white “selfie” feminism’s understanding of the body to that of contemporary black feminism, Dean’s feature essay also provides a first updating of “Olympia’s Maid.”
Caille Millner, on Rivers, First Draft as a living Künstlerroman — Whereas to many the performance may seem surrealist (in the way early readers saw García Márquez's 100 Years of Solitude as surrealist when that novel was, if not realistic, quite real), Millner adeptly demystifies the work's collage aesthetic, seeing the piece as literalized metaphor, a guide to women of color wishing to become artists.
"Frame Me": Speaking Out of Turn and Lorraine O'Grady's Alien Avant-Garde — In the first major academic article on O'Grady, Stephanie Sparling Williams, using both the definition of "alien" as stranger and the Brechtian "alienation effect," provides a first line of theorization, stating: "As both alien and avant-garde, [it paves] the way for these two terms to be theorized in close proximity as a distinctive position from which to deploy strategic visibility and voice."
@museummammy interview on contemporary art — Drew, whose Black Contemporary Art tumblr is a first stop for anyone interested in this enormous topic, here cites David Hammons and Lorraine O'Grady as two artists to whom more serious attention should be paid, joining those who have noted O'Grady's work as "under-theorized."
A Walk Through the World of Lorraine O'Grady — Heather Kapplow, the Boston reviewer, replicates O'Grady's working method by walking backwards, turning the exhibit itself into a diptych, video on one side, wall works on the other, setting in motion a permanent back-and-forth questioning and answering between the two so that the only resolution is to embrace a permanent, un-hierarchized equivalence.
Cate McQuaid on "Where Margins Become Centers" — In this enthusiastic review of the Carpenter Center show, which she later discussed further in an end-of-year column on Boston's galleries, the award-winning critic declares that, after the early performances, O'Grady's work "grew more precise and more searing."
Carpenter Center Exhibition Booklet — One reviewer called it an "Indispensable brochure." Besides checklist and illustrations, Lorraine O'Grady: Where Margins Become Centers contains an incisive essay by the CCVA's curator James Voorhies, an article by O'Grady and interview by Cecilia Alemani,, as well as Andil Gosine's foundational essay, "Lorraine O'Grady's New Worlds."
Cathy Lebowitz on "En Mas'" — Leibowitz discusses O'Grady's "Looking for a Headdress" video and installation as a mimicry of the relation of the diaspora to its originary culture and indicates that its informal density accomplishes a great deal efficiently.
Louis Bury on "Art Is..." — Bury's lengthy and magisterial review is a model of intellectual attention to what is being seen — both inside and outside the frame. Beginning with the freedom of the piece's title, it examines framing as form, content and metaphor, and illluminates police presence and the relation of viewer to viewed.
Blog entry on "Art Is..." at the Studio Museum in Harlem — This brief review by an art historian frames "Art Is..." as a "meta-art proposition" and draws interesting parallels to works by later black artists.
Feature article on "Art Is..." and why it might not work today — with interview of O'Grady by Karen Rosenberg. O'Grady describes how the piece became unintentionally historic. Done in 1983, it was just before crack came to Harlem. Later, both the drug and the changed technologies of policing in Harlem and elsewhere would make people less open to strangers and cameras.
Alan Gilbert review of Lorraine O'Grady at Alexander Gray — The editor of the College Art Association's caa.reviews, through a close formal description of "Cutting Out the New York Times," mimicked by that of the "Rivers, First Draft" wall installation, points to how their form provides an associative logic needed to make sense of the individuation process unfolding on the wall.
Holland Cotter, Art & Design — Cotter's review of O'Grady's exhibit at Alexander Gray focuses on her use of collage in both "Cutting Out the New York Times" and "Rivers, First Draft" as a method of shaping her complex history.
Lorraine O'Grady, gallery exhibition catalogue — Fully illustrated, with analyses and descriptions of the 1977 "Cutting Out the New York Times" collaged poems and the 1982 "Rivers, First Draft" performance in Central Park (including production and music credits). Also contains bio and a new text by O'Grady celebrating premiere of RFD as a wall installation.
Feature on "EN MAS': Carnival and Performance Art of the Caribbean" — Reviewer Rebecca Lee Reynolds displays keen appreciation of the format of O'Grady's "reaction video," her commission for "EN MAS," which opened at CAC New Orleans before its traveling tour to the National Galleries of the Cayman Isalnds and of The Bahamas, plus centers of the diaspora.
Jillian Steinhauer on Baudelaire and Michael Jackson — After encountering O'Grady in a video by Adam Pendleton, Steinhauer finds a 10-minute segment on YouTube of the Performa Institute event in which O'Grady speaks about Baudelaire, Jackson and Modernism.
Animating the Archive: Black Performance Art's Radical Presence – Alexis Clements' review of "Radical Presence" at the Grey Art Gallery, NYU, discusses the ways in which O'Grady's photo-document installation of Mlle Bourgeoise Noire enables one to imagine at least in part what it might have been like to be present during the performance.
Piece on Basquiat referencing O'Grady's 1993 Artforum article — 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?
Lisa Scanlon on O'Grady's archive at Wellesley College — 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."
Holland Cotter, Art in Review — 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.
Goings On About Town: Art — Considers the New Worlds show relevant in view of the recent shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Emily Nathan, The New York List — 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."
Lumi Tan, Critics' Picks — A brief, astute statement that indicates O'Grady's intentions in naming her Alexander Gray, NY solo show New Worlds.
Unpublished article on New Worlds — 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.
Jeu de Paume invited blog — 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.
Alana Chloe Esposito, Unnatural Attitudes — 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.
Lorraine O'Grady's Hair Stare Fare, Village Voice — 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."
Lorraine O'Grady Papers, Wellesley College Library — 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.
Curators converse on This Will Have Been — 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.
Hannah Feldman on This Will Have Been, MCA Chicago — 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.
Juliette Soulez on the Paris Triennale — 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."
Blues for Smoke, Museum of Contemporary Art, LA — 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.
A Generous Medium: Photography at Wellesley, 1972-2012 — 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.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago — 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.
Lorraine O’Grady’s Landscape — 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.
The First and the Last of the Modernists, in "Agitated Histories" — 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.
Tori Bush on Lorraine O'Grady in The Best of Prospect.2: Part 1 — 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?
Malik Gaines — in frieze, “Looking Forward, Looking Back” — 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.
Lorraine O'Grady's Persistent, Artpace San Antonio — 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.
The Moment of Encounter — 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.
Five from the Whitney Biennial: Lorraine O’Grady — 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.
Invitation to exhibit in K. Acker: The Office — 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.
Wall Text, Carolyn Tennant, New Media Director, Hallwalls — 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."
Object of the Month, August 2010: Miscegenated Family Album — 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."
Three articles on Manifesta 8 — 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.
11 Hopped-Up Art World Anecdotes from “Max’s Kansas City” Book — 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 artinfo.com piece.
A More Female and More Discreet Whitney Biennial. . . — 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.
Selected press on O’Grady in the Biennial — 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.
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.
Carolyn Tennant, New Media Director, Hallwalls — 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)
Massimiliano Gioni picks... Lorraine O’Grady, Art Is... — 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.
Episode 22: Nefertiti, Devonia, Michael — 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.
The Poem Will Resemble You — 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.
On Re.act.feminism @ Akademie der Künste, Berlin — 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.
Miscegenated Family Album, Artforum Magazine — 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.
Miscegenated Family Album, at Alexander Gray Associates, NYC — Discussion of framing as a technique of meaning in O’Grady’s conceptual photo-installation.
Miscegenated Family Album, at Alexander Gray Associates, NY — 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.”
Wall Text, Miscegenated Family Album — 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.
WACK! Feminist Art Strikes Back — 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.
Exhibit reflects downtown dance club — 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.
DJ JJ Lopez's email invite to Persistent opening at Artpace San Antonio, TX — 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.
‘Wack!’ The Art of Feminism as It First Took Shape — 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.
Connie Butler, curator; Linda Theung, essayist — 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.
Holland Cotter, Art in Review — 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.
Lorraine O’Grady’s “Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity” — 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.
Biraciality and Nationhood in Contemporary Art — 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.
The Art of Reading: Postcolonial Bodies and Strategic Illegibility — 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.
Les Fleurs Duval, on ArtNet.com — 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.
Studies for Flowers of Evil and Good, at Thomas Erben, NY — 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.
Black Female Spectatorship and the Dilemma of Tokenism — 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.
“White Skin, Black Masks”: Fetishism and Les Demoiselles d’Avignon — 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.
A Legacy of Silence — 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.
Hypocrite Lecteur, Mon Semblable, Mon Frère! Hybrid Viewer, My Difference, Lorraine O’Grady! — Catalogue essay for the group exhibit New Histories, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA. 1996. Lia Gangitano and Steven Nelson, eds.
Shadow Boxing with the Status Quo — 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.
Lorraine O’Grady: The Space Between — Brochure article written for the one-person exhibit “Lorraine O’Grady / MATRIX 127,” The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, May 21 – Aug 20, 1995.
The Object of History and the History of Objects — 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.
Wellesley’s ‘Body’ also has a brain — 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.”
A West Indian Yankee in Queen Nefertiti’s Court — 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.
Unpublished slide lecture, A Postmortem on Postmodernism? — 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.
Gretchen Faust, New York in Review — 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.
Lorraine O’Grady: Critical Interventions — 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.
Art Is . . . — 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
“Dialogues,” Just Above Midtown Gallery — 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.