Michelle Grabner

Michelle Grabner (b. 1962, Oshkosh, Wisconsin) has a multifaceted career as a conceptual artist, gallerist, art educator, curator, and critic. By creating patterns inspired by household textiles such as crocheted blankets, gingham, and denim in her work, Grabner blurs the line between abstraction and representation and challenges the supposed opposition between fine art and craft. She received her MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University after receiving both a MA in Art History and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is currently the chair of the Department of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and previously was a Core Critic in Yale University’s Department of Painting and Printmaking. Her writing has been published in Artforum, Modern Painters, Frieze, Art in America, Art-Agenda, and others. She was awarded the prestigious Fine Arts Guggenheim Fellowship in 2021. Grabner’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Walker Art Center, Tate St. Ives in England, and Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland. Her work is included in numerous permanent collections such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, MUDAM in Luxemburg, Milwaukee Art Museum, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Daimler Contemporary in Berlin, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In 2014, Grabner was the first practicing artist selected to co-curate the Whitney Biennial. In 2018, she served as the inaugural artistic director of FRONT International, a triennial exhibition in Cleveland, Ohio. She is also the founder and co-director of two non-profit art spaces in Wisconsin, The Suburban and The Poor Farm, with her husband, artist Brad Killam. Michelle Grabner lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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