Lorraine O’Grady Departs Longtime New York Dealer for Chicago’s Mariane Ibrahim

Lorraine O’Grady, the influential conceptual artist whose well-received retrospective is still traveling the US, has exited her longtime gallery, New York’s Alexander Gray Associates, and joined the Chicago-based Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.

She had shown with Alexander Gray Associates since 2008. O’Grady had by then already been well-known for artworks such as her performances involving the persona Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, but her recognition has only grown in the past 15 years, thanks in part to a Brooklyn Museum retrospective that opened in 2021.

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O’Grady is far more established than many others on Mariane Ibrahim’s roster, which also includes Amoako Boafo, a painter whose portraits have sold for vast sums, and Ayana V. Jackson, whose photographs have been seen in various museum shows. Also in the dealer’s stable are Zohra Opoku and ruby onyinyechi amanze. O’Grady is older than all these artists by several decades.

Her works have taken up a spread of issues, including the very nature of art history itself, the relationship between the general public and conceptual art, and intersections of Blackness, femininity, and class. Her 1983 performance Art Is. . ., for which O’Grady and her collaborators had attendees at Harlem’s African-American Day Parade pose in picture frames, has been widely acclaimed.

“The decision to leave Alexander Gray Associates came after 15 years of great work and collaboration for which I remain grateful. But from my formative years at Girls Latin School in Boston to the present day, I have always carved my own path via agency and self-empowerment,” O’Grady said in a statement. “When the opportunity to work with Mariane Ibrahim Gallery presented itself, I knew this was what I had been envisioning in a commercial partner. Mariane is a trailblazer who has forged her own path in this industry and who can bring greater visibility to my art nationally and internationally. I am energized by this new chapter and by seeing my legacy continue to unfold to new level.”

Mariane Ibrahim also has locations in Paris and Mexico City. She has stated that she is invested in supporting African and African diasporic artists.

“Lorraine’s artistic journey has been marked by resilience, innovation, and a profound exploration of identity, culture, and history,” Ibrahim said in a statement. “I am excited and eager to champion and honor Lorraine’s legacy. I see a parallel in our histories.”

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