LORRAINE O’GRADY was born in Boston in 1934 to parents from Jamaica. She was educated at Girls Latin School and Wellesley College and later attended the Iowa Writers Workshop. A conceptual artist who works in performance, photo-installation, video and other media, O’Grady began her art career in 1980 with the now legendary performance Mlle Bourgeoise Noire. Since then she has received many honors and awards, including the Bunting Fellowship in Visual Art from Harvard, the Vera List Senior Fellowship in Art and Politics from New School University, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the New York State Council on the Arts, the Sharpe Space Program residency, and funded residencies at the Yaddo, Macdowell and Millay colonies. O’Grady has lectured widely on her work at various universities and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center for Photography in New York, and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. Both an artist and a writer, her articles have appeared in such
publications as Artforum and Afterimage magazines, and her frequently anthologized text “Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity” was most recently published in The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, Routledge. She has had an extensive teaching career in studio art and humanities, with appointments at the University of California Irvine, the School of Visual Arts in New York City, the Skowhegan School of Art in Maine, and the International Summer Academy of Fine Art in Salzburg, Austria. In 2006, The New York Times called O’Grady “one of the most interesting American conceptualists around.” And in 2007, Mlle Bourgeoise Noire was made an entry point to WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, the first-ever museum exhibit of this historically important art movement. O’Grady is currently an independent artist living and working in Manhattan.
© 2009 Lorraine O'Grady | All rights reserved.