Michelle Grabner

Michelle Grabner (b. 1962) has a multifaceted career as a conceptual artist, gallerist, art educator, curator, and critic. Creating patterns inspired by household textiles such as crocheted blankets, gingham, and denim, Grabner’s work blurs the line between abstraction and representation and challenges the supposed opposition between fine art and craft. Grabner says of her work, “I hope to reinvigorate some of the power struggles between burlap and linen, the loom and the stretcher, and concepts of labor and work, dichotomies most recently leveled by the free market’s objective to bring diversity to market.” Grabner is the chair of the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is also a senior critic at Yale University in the Department of Painting and Printmaking. Her writing has been published in Artforum, Modern Painters, Frieze, Art Press, and Art-Agenda, to name a few. Grabner’s work has been shown both national and internationally in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Tate St. Ives in England, and the Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland. Her work is included in numerous permanent collections such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC, MUDAM in Luxemburg, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the Daimler Contemporary in Berlin, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Michelle Grabner also runs The Suburban and The Poor Farm with her husband, artist Brad Killam. In 2014, Grabner was the first practicing artist to be selected as a co-curator of the Whitney Biennial. In 2018 she also served as the inaugural artistic director of FRONT International, a triennial exhibition in Cleveland, Ohio.

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