CAA awards for Rainer and O’Grady

Two former faculty at the University of California, Irvine, Department of Art will be honored at the upcoming meeting of the College Art Association. Professor Emeritus Yvonne Rainer will receive this year’s “Lifetime Achievement” award for an artist.  Former UCI Assistant Professor Lorraine O’Grady will receive the “Distinguished Feminist Award.”


As CAA describes the honorees:

“Yvonne Rainer has been instrumental in the movement to merge the visual arts with dance, performance, and filmmaking. As a founder of the Judson Dance Theater (1962) and of the improvisational group Grand Union (1970), Rainer choreographed major dance works for many decades. She has also produced films that have been hailed globally, and her videos have dissolved the barriers between art forms and revealed a new unified vision of the arts. The author of four books and recipient of prestigious fellowships, Rainer was a longtime professor at the University of California, Irvine, where her prodigious talent and innovation has greatly influenced numerous generations of creative people.

“CAA recognizes Lorraine O’Grady for her considerable and important service to the feminist art community, especially in her determined efforts to underscore discrimination and bias through her performance art, photo-based work, writing, teaching, and activism. O’Grady has worked to expand the political content of art, persistently returning to a complicated place that she describes as “where the personal intersects with the historic and cultural.” As part of a small group of women of color in the Women’s Action Coalition, she has used this platform to accentuate the involvement of black women artists in contemporary culture and the perpetual disregard for their contributions. Essays such as “Olympia’s Maid: Reclaiming Black Female Subjectivity” (1992) demonstrate her powerful voice in robustly considering the disinterest in the black female. In the 1990s O’Grady turned to the visual investigations of miscegenation, and in the last decade her art has continued to challenge the marginalization of racially and socioeconomically hybridized artists.”

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