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.
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.”
Text for the 2012 Paris Triennale English-language website — Written to replace a curatorial text on the Trennale's English website, the text describes the effect of O'Grady's hybrid background on content and form in her work, elaborating this with respect to Miscegenated Family Album, her "novel in space" in the Triennale.
Transcript, "Lorraine O'Grady's Natures," NCRA Canada — This half-hour show, extracted from a longer video interview and produced in Canada for NCRA, is focused on O’Grady’s diptych “The Clearing” and explores issues of sex, nature and love in her work via a mix of the intellectual and the intimate.
[Text in English and Italian] Mousse Magazine, issue 24 — The Mousse interview, done after the Whitney Biennial opening, elaborated on O’Grady’s piece for that exhibit,The First and the Last of the Modernists, and its relation to her decades of teaching Baudelaire and to her work-in-progress Flowers of Evil and Good.
Unpublished paragraphs on individual works in INTAR exhibit, 1991 — Written to answer FAQs about the works without prescribing viewers' responses. The photomontages were not based in Surrealist or Dada randomness. To make arguments and not just images or dreams, rational sources were twisted so unfamiliar subjective material of the "other" might enter.
Unpublished exchange — The most comprehensive and focused interview of O’Grady to date, this Q & A by a Duke University doctoral candidate benefited from the slowness of the email format, the African American feminist scholar’s deep familiarity with O’Grady’s work, and their personal friendship.
Artist brochure statement for Lorraine O’Grady / MATRIX 127, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, May 21 – Aug 20, 1995. Adapted from “Lorraine O’Grady, conceptual artist,” in Susan Cahan and Zoya Kocur, eds., Contemporary Art and Multicultural Education. New York: The New Museum of Contemporary Art and Routledge, 1996.
Unpublished lecture, Wellesley College — Written shortly after the “Postscript” to “Olympia’s Maid,” this lecture delivered to the Wellesley Round Table, a faculty symposium on Miscegenated Family Album, takes a retrospective look at O’Grady’s earlier life and work through the prism of cultural theory.
Catalogue Essay, Coming to Power, David Zwirner Gallery — Written for the unpublished, photocopied catalogue of Coming to Power: 25 Years of Sexually X-plicit Art by Women, curated by Ellen Cantor and presented by David Zwirner Gallery and Simon Watson/The Contemporary, NYC, the essay examines O’Grady’s inclusion in the show and responses to her diptych The Clearing.
Unpublished letter re “Report from the East Village” — Unpublished letter re the omission of Kenkeleba Gallery and O’Grady’s The Black and White Show from the feature section, “Report from the East Village: Slouching Toward Avenue D,” in Art in America, Vol 72 No 6 (Summer 1984). Receipt not acknowledged.
Unpublished statement, for Tony Whitfield — A letter to Tony Whitfield in preparation for Just Above Midtown’s Afro- Pop catalogue interview is O’Grady’s most self-conscious to that point. Experiencing a lack of clear precedents for her work, in it she attempts to theorize her relationship to performance art and the paucity of role models, and to face the question of the audience for black avant-garde art.
Heresies #15: Racism Is the Issue — Published in the Heresies collective’s journal, this was O’Grady’s first attempt to deal publicly with issues of black female subjectivity. It is based firmly in personal anecdote and psychological description rather than the more theoretical analysis she would later employ.
High Performance #17/18, Artist’s Chronicle — After a delay to see if the first chronicle on Mlle Bourgeoise Noire would be accepted by High Performance, a second on Nefertiti/Devonia Evangeline was submitted the following year — though it had in fact premiered at Just Above Midtown just 3 months later.
"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."
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.