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Virtual | Curatorial Perspective: ‘Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And’ at the Brooklyn Museum

March 23, 2021 @ 6:00 pm

Lorraine O'Grady at the Brooklyn Musuem
6pm ET | 5pm CT | 3pm PT

ArtTable’s Curatorial Perspective program series invites curators to present and discuss timely exhibitions and initiatives. Please join us for a discussion with Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and writer and co-curator of the exhibiton, Aruna D’Souza, for a discussion of the Lorraine O’Grady retrospective currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum.


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Accessibility: Please note that this program will offer live closed captioning. If you require additional accommodations, please email

About the Exhibition

Lorraine O’Grady: Both/And is the first retrospective of one of the most significant contemporary figures working in performance, conceptual, and feminist art. Lorraine O’Grady replaces either/or ways of thinking with the endless loop of “both/and,” challenging the fixed positions of self and other, here and there, now and then, all while reflecting on the poignancy of lives lived within dualistic frameworks. The artist addresses her own experience as a person marked by racial hybridity―her family histories connect the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and the United States―who is nonetheless definitively a Black woman. Through her exploration of legacies of cultural interconnection and reciprocal influences, O’Grady sheds light on the ways Blackness has always existed at the heart of Western modernism.

The exhibition features twelve of the major projects O’Grady has produced over her four-decade career and also debuts a much-anticipated new installation. In addition to works presented in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, five of O’Grady’s projects are installed in collection galleries throughout the Museum, highlighting the artist’s long engagement with art historical omissions and institutional failings related to the creative agency of those excluded from the canon. O’Grady’s radical revisionism of the 1980s and 1990s anticipated themes that have been embraced by a younger generation of artists and thinkers, inspiring them to resist and reshape a world structured by difference and inequity.

About the Speakers

Catherine Morris is the Sackler Senior Curator for the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Since 2009, Catherine has curated a number of exhibitions for the Sackler Center including the award-winning Materializing “Six Years”: Lucy R. Lippard and the Emergence of Conceptual Art (co-curated with Vincent Bonin); Twice Militant: Lorraine Hansberry’s Letters to “The Ladder”; Between the Door and the Street: A performance initiated by Suzanne Lacy; “Workt by Hand”: Hidden Labor and Historical Quilts; Kathë Kollwitz: Prints from the “War” and “Death” Portfolios; Rachel Kneebone: Regarding Rodin; Newspaper Fiction: The New York Journalism of Djuna Barnes, 1913–1919; Matthew Buckingham: “The Spirit and the Letter”; Lorna Simpson: Gathered; Sam Taylor-Wood: “Ghosts”; Kiki Smith: Sojourn; and Healing the Wounds of War: The Brooklyn Sanitary Fair of 1864. She was also the in-house curator of Eva Hesse Spectres 1960 and Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958–1968.

Before joining the Brooklyn Museum, Catherine was an independent curator. Among some of the projects she organized are Decoys, Complexes, and Triggers: Women and Land Art in the 1970s at SculptureCenter, Long Island City; 9 Evenings Reconsidered: Art, Theatre, and Engineering in 1966 for the M.I.T. List Visual Arts Center; and Gloria: Another Look at Feminist Art of the 1970s at White Columns, New York. From 2004 until 2009, she was Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Art for the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she curated shows of Josiah McElheny, Lucy Gunning, and Cameron Martin. In 2004, she received a Penny McCall Foundation Award for Independent Curating and Writing.

Aruna D’Souza writes about modern and contemporary art, intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics, and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. Her most recent book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts (Badlands Unlimited), was named one of the best art books of 2018 by the New York Times. Aruna’s work appears regularly in, where she is a member of the editorial advisory board. Her work has also been published in The Wall Street Journal,, ArtNews, Garage, Bookforum, Momus, Art in America, and Art Practical, among other places. She is currently editing two forthcoming volumes, Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader, and Lorraine O’Grady’s Writing in Space 1973-2018, and is co-curator of the upcoming retrospective of O’Grady’s work, Both/And, which will open in March 2021 at the Brooklyn Museum.


Thank you to Ingrid Dinter, Principal Dinter Fine Art and Program Committee Member of ArtTable’s NY Chapter for organizing this program.


  1. Lorraine O’Grady (American, born 1934). Rivers, First Draft: The Woman in White eats coconut and looks away from the action, 1982/2015. Digital chromogenic print from Kodachrome 35mm slides in 48 parts, 16 × 20 in. (40.64 × 50.8 cm). Edition of 8, plus 2 AP. Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York. © Lorraine O’Grady / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  2. Catherine Morris, courtesy of the Brooklyn Musuem
  3. Aruna D’Souza, photo credit Dana Hoey


March 23, 2021
6:00 pm
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