Small animal next to knight with tree coming out of its head and person in green holding lance

Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And

Feb 8–Jun 2
Davis Museum
Free and open to the public

Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is the first major career survey of the renowned conceptual artist and cultural critic whose work has challenged prevailing understandings around gender, race, and class for more than four decades. The exhibition charts the development of O’Grady’s artistic oeuvre, which spans collage, photo-installation, performance, video, and text. It brings focus to the artist’s skillful subversion of the “either/or” logic inherent in the Western philosophical canon, and explores her longstanding commitment to the reasoning of “both/and.”

O’Grady’s work deals with a range of overlapping themes: Black female subjectivity in Western modernity and artistic modernism; colonialism and slavery; hybridity and diasporic experience; multiplicity and selfhood; and intersectional feminist theory and praxis. For O’Grady, the diptych form, by forcing sustained conversation, can hold tellingly chosen dissimilars still long enough to become familiar. In deploying the diptych as both artistic and conceptual strategy, O’Grady has achieved a transformational anti-hierarchical approach to difference. Over the course of her practice, she has refused the possibility of neat resolution and remained committed to keeping contradictions in play so as to undermine the power dynamics baked into the binary oppositions of self and other, male and female, West and non-West, Black and White, 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.

For more information, please contact:

The Davis Museum by visiting

Generously supported by:

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

Image Credit:

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. © Lorraine O’Grady/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York