Lorraine O'Grady

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Lorraine O'Grady (born 1934) is an American conceptual artist, who has worked in the areas of performance art and photo and video installation. Her work locates universal and timeless values in such topical issues as diaspora, hybridity, and black female subjectivity. It also attempts a shift in art discourse to show how these topics have influenced the history of modernism.

O'Grady studied economics and literature at Wellesley College before becoming an artist in 1980.Linda M. Montano, Performance Artists Talking in the Eighties, University of California Press, 2000, p513. ISBN 0-520-21022-0 In the 1980s, she created the adopted persona of 'Mlle Bourgeoise Noire' to invade art openings while wearing a gown made of 180 pairs of white gloves,, beating herself with a white cat-o-nine-tails and shouting out poems that railed against a still-segregated art world she perceived as not looking beyond a small circle of friends. Beginning in 1991 she added photo installations to her conceptually based work. And in 2007, she made her first video installation during a residency at Artpace in San Antonio, Texas.

Her strongly feminist work has been widely exhibited, particularly in New York and Europe. O'Grady's early 'Mlle Bourgeoise Noire' performance was given new recognition when it was made an entry-point to the landmark exhibit WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution,, the...
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