Lorraine O’Grady (American, born 1934). Family Portrait 1 (Formal, Composed), 2020. Fujiflex print, 60 × 48 in. (152.4 × 121.9 cm). Edition of 10 plus 3 artist’s proofs. Courtesy of the artist and Mariane Ibrahim (Chicago, Paris, and Mexico City). © Lorraine O’Grady/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 

Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is the first retrospective of an artist who has been a critical voice in performance, conceptual, and feminist art for more than four decades. Lorraine O’Grady became an artist at age forty-five, after successful careers in the U.S. Departments of State and Labor, professional translating, rock criticism, and teaching French literature and art. She jokes that because she came to her artistic career late in life, she “only had time for masterpieces.”

O’Grady’s work revolves around a consistent set of themes: Black female subjectivity and Black feminism; hybridity and diaspora; the unspoken aftermath of slavery in the Western Hemisphere; the contradictions and complications of her upbringing in Boston as the daughter of Jamaican immigrants; and the impossibility of separating the personal from the political, or the self from history. The artist’s practice is driven by a desire to replace Western “either/or” thinking—which O’Grady sees as the basis of the inequalities that structure our world—with the concept of “both/and.” By putting seeming contradictions into play and refusing the possibility of resolution, O’Grady seeks to undermine the power and hierarchy implied by oppositions like Black and white, self and other, West and non-West, and past and present.

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 Jenee-Daria Strand, Curatorial Assistant, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.

Leadership support for this exhibition is provided by 

Organized for the Davis Museum by Sonja Novak Koerner '51 Senior Curator of Collections and Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs Amanda Gilvin, the exhibition is presented at the Davis with generous support from the Mildred Cooper Glimcher '61 Endowed Fund, the Anonymous '70 Endowed Museum Program Fund, Wellesley College Friends of Art at the Davis, and the Alice G. Spink Art Fund.

Lorraine O’Grady would like to thank the following: Chappelle Freeman Jr., Edward Bowden Allen, Ellen Rosen, Richard DeGussi-Bogutski, Coreen Simpson, Salimah Ali, Eileen Harris Norton, Just Above Midtown (JAM), Linda Goode Bryant, Anne Fucci Criscitiello, Freda Leinwand, Gylbert Coker, Horace Brockington, Jennifer Manfredi, Ellen Sragow, Emily Velde, Bern 1905, Noah Jemisin, Lorenzo Pace, Beverly Trachtenberg, Bill O’Connor, Francine Berman, Steven Overman (Eastman Kodak Company), Marlon Ziello (Ziello Inc.), Corinne Jennings, Joe Overstreet, George Mingo, Keith Haring, New York State Council on the Arts, Whitfield Lovell, Robert Ransick, Lilith Dove, Nahna Kim, Shamus Clisset (Laumont Photographics ), Willie Vera (Laumont Photographics), the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Shelley Fox Aarons and Philip E. Aarons, David Cabrera and Alexander Gray, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Theo Davis, Courtney R. Baker, Irene Cheng, Adrienne Caldwell, Anonymous Was A Woman, Winslow Hinds, Carlo Montagnino, Tavis Delahunt (NB Technologies), Habby Osk, Carmen von Kende, Carolyn Tennant, Andil Gosine, Sur Rodney (Sur), Kyla McMillan, Ursula Davila-Villa, Brian Guerin, Kelly Spivey and Bill Seery (Mercer Media), Maria Elena Venuto (The Standby Program), Jason Crump (Metropolis Post), Art Matters, United States Artists, René Schmitt’s Druckgraphik, Stephanie Sparling Williams, Stacy A. Scibelli, Laura Lappi, Creative Capital, Jeff Wasson (Wasson Artistry), Matt White, John Umphlett, Miles Templeton, Scott Wilson (Darkwood Armory), Peter Johnsson (Albion Swords Ltd., LLC ), Mike Sigman (Albion Swords Ltd., LLC), Kerry Gaertner Gerbracht, Loretta Polk, Aruna D’Souza, Anne Pasternak (Brooklyn Museum), Catherine J. Morris (Brooklyn Museum), Audrey Walen (Brooklyn Museum), Page Benkowski (Alexander Gray Associates), Ken Wissoker (Duke University Press), Michael McCullough (Duke University Press), Laura Sell (Duke University Press), Karen Kelly (Dancing Foxes Press ), Barbara Schroeder (Dancing Foxes Press), Alice Chung (Omnivore, Inc.), Jacqueline Francis (Wattis Institute), Jeanne Gerrity (Wattis Institute), Kim Nguyen (Wattis Institute), Zoe Leonard, Adam Pendleton, Adrienne Edwards, Rujeko Hockley, Anne Byrd, Connie Butler, Legacy Russell, Thomas Lax, Deana Haggag, Christine Kuan, James Schamus, Rachida Bumbray, Simone Leigh, Tina Campt, Saidiya Hartman, Christina Sharpe, Loophole of Retreat: Venice, Sandra Payne, Patricia Spears Jones, Anna Stothart, Miranda Samuels, Josie Roland Hodson, Nick Mauss, Jarrett Earnest, Holland Cotter, Siddhartha Mitter, David Velasco, Catherine Damman, Mira Dayal, Doreen St. Félix, Zawe Ashton, Diane Henry Lepart, Rianna Jade Parker, Sam Vernon, Moko Fukuyama, Haoyan of America, Richard Nathaniel (DJ Vinyl Richie), Paul and Carole Thompson, Emma McKee, Mariane Ibrahim, Tina Bridgeport, Norman Polk, Ellen Martin Story, Candace  Allen, Kimberly Allen-King, Guy D. and Annette Olbert Jones, Ciara Casey Mendes, Kristin Emily Jones, Devon April Jones, Kevin Elijah Mendes, Royce Marco Mendes, Marlia Snow Elgeziry, Rixie Coral Elgeziry, Limon, Furby, and Rocinante.