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Lorraine O’Grady, The Miscegenated Family Album

Alexander Gray Associates
508 West 26th Street, 2nd floor, 212-399-2636
September 10 - October 11, 2008
Reception: Wednesday, September 10, 6 - 8 PM
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Alexander Gray Associates is delighted to present Lorraine O’Grady’s iconic series, The Miscegenated Family Album (1980/94). Since the early 1980s, O’Grady has challenged class, racial and gender ideologies in performance and photo-based installations. These works combine both opposition to philosophies of division and exclusion and humanist studies of women throughout history. O’Grady describes her approach as “presenting hybridized notions of aesthetics and identity to rediagram the politics of diaspora.”

Miscegenated Family Album is Lorraine O’Grady’s 1994 photo-installation of cibachrome diptychs. Originating from her 1980 performance work, Nefertiti/Devonia Evangeline, this 16-part photographic series juxtaposes appropriated images from O’Grady’s family history with images of iconic Ancient Egyptian sculptures. The image pairs draw uncanny aesthetic parallels, while weaving together narratives that connect personal stories with historical events.

The installation has appeared in exhibitions at numerous venues, including The Art Institute of Chicago; the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; and the Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst, Denmark. The exhibition at Alexander Gray Associates will be the first time the entire series has been shown in New York.

Lorraine O’Grady was born in Boston, MA in 1934 to West Indian parents. Studying economics and literature, she had several careers: an intelligence analyst for the United States government, a literary commercial translator, and rock critic. Throughout the 1980s, O’Grady was active within the alternative New York art world, lending a voice to the new wave of feminism that took into account cultural perspectives that were underrepresented during the feminist movements of the 1970s. In addition to her work as a visual artist, O’Grady has also made innovative contributions to cultural criticism with her writings, including the now canonical article, Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity. In 2007, her work was a centerpiece of the landmark exhibition, WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, organized by Connie Butler for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and she was a resident artist at Artpace San Antonio.
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