Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And
March 5–July 18, 2021
Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is the first retrospective of one of the most significant contemporary figures working in performance, conceptual, and feminist art. Lorraine O’Grady replaces either/or ways of thinking with the endless loop of “both/and,” challenging the fixed positions of self and other, here and there, now and then, all while reflecting on the poignancy of lives lived within dualistic frameworks. The artist addresses her own experience as a person marked by racial hybridity―her family histories connect the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and the United States―who is nonetheless definitively a Black woman. Through her exploration of legacies of cultural interconnection and reciprocal influences, O’Grady sheds light on the ways Blackness has always existed at the heart of Western modernism.
The exhibition features twelve of the major projects O’Grady has produced over her four-decade career and also debuts a much-anticipated new installation. In addition to works presented in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, five of O'Grady's projects are installed in collection galleries throughout the Museum, highlighting the artist’s long engagement with art historical omissions and institutional failings related to the creative agency of those excluded from the canon. O’Grady’s radical revisionism of the 1980s and 1990s anticipated themes that have been embraced by a younger generation of artists and thinkers, inspiring them to resist and reshape a world structured by difference and inequity.
Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And 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.
Leadership support for this exhibition is provided by the Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, and Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Major support is provided by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Museum Educational Trust. Generous support is provided by Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip Aarons, the Maurer Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Additional support is provided by Alexander Gray Associates, J.A. Forde, and the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.