Apollo
Art Diary

Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And

26 February 2021

While some museums are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibitions will include shows at institutions that are currently open as well as digital projects providing virtual access to art and culture.

Since adopting the party-crashing persona of Mlle Bourgeoise Noire in the early 1980s, Lorraine O’Grady has blurred the lines between performance, politics and conceptual art. This career retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum (5 March–18 July) focuses on 12 major projects over the past four decades – including Miscegenated Family Album (1994), a photo-installation that presented images of Queen Nefertiti alongside O’Grady’s late sister, and Art Is… (1983), a performance for which O’Grady took a large gold picture frame to the African-American Day Parade in Harlem, as a direct challenge to the idea that ‘avant-garde art doesn’t have anything to do with Black people’. Find out more from the Brooklyn Museum’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Untitled (Mlle Bourgeoise Noire celebrates with her friends) (1980–83/2009), Lorraine O'Grady.

Untitled (Mlle Bourgeoise Noire celebrates with her friends) (1980–83/2009), Lorraine O’Grady. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York. © Lorraine O’Grady/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Miscegenated Family Album (Sisters I), L: Nerfnefruaten Nefertiti; R: Devonia Evageline O’Grady (1980/94), Lorraine O'Grady.

Miscegenated Family Album (Sisters I), L: Nerfnefruaten Nefertiti; R: Devonia Evageline O’Grady (1980/94), Lorraine O’Grady. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York. © Lorraine O’Grady/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Rivers, First Draft: The Woman in White eats coconut and looks away from the action (1982/2015), Lorraine O'Grady.

Rivers, First Draft: The Woman in White eats coconut and looks away from the action (1982/2015), Lorraine O’Grady. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York. © Lorraine O’Grady/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Art Is . . . (Girl Pointing) (1983/2009), Lorraine O'Grady.

Art Is . . . (Girl Pointing) (1983/2009), Lorraine O’Grady. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York. © Lorraine O’Grady/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York