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Michelle Grabner    

American | born 1962


Jonathan Stephenson first exhibited the work of Michelle Grabner in 1998; the artist has since had six solo shows at Rocket and has contributed to numerous group shows. The most recent exhibition in 2015 premiered an entirely new body of work produced while Grabner was an artist in residence at Skowhegan School of Painting, Maine in the  summer of the same year. The new gingham paintings, rendered in impasto oil paint on burlap canvas, were shown in the main gallery at Rocket together with a floor installation of paper-weavings and a photographic artist’s book. In the side gallery there was a re-creation of Grabner’s first exhibition at Rocket – Home Painting – in 1998. Six rare enamel on wood paintings were hung in a living room installation complete with a television broadcasting the 1990s Martha Stewart Show.     

..painting as a site of translation: indeed, this is exactly how I understand my painting. As a concept,

translation is slow, boring, and methodical. Inevitably any transliteration of a found pattern like gingham,

or even the re-articulation of simple geometries will yield a compelling understanding of the limitations

of the material world and the principles that shape it.    Michelle Grabner, interview by Caroline Picard


Grabner co-curated the Whitney Biennial in 2014 and the Portland Biennial in 2016. She has been active in the last twenty years in breaking down the boundaries between critic, curator, teacher and artist. As Chair of Painting & Drawing at the Art Institute of Chicago she has built on long established networks and as co-curator of The Suburban and Poor Farm exhibition spaces she plays with the sites of rural and suburban space – always observing how different exhibits intersect with those environments.


Michelle Grabner lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Major institutional solo exhibitions of her own work include Indianapolis Museum of Art (2015) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland (2013). Recent group shows include Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Museum of Art & Design, New York (2015) and The Indisciple of Painting, Tate, St Ives (2011). Her work is in many institutional and corporate collections including Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; MoCA, Chicago; and Daimler Art Collection, Germany.

   Michelle Grabner | gingham

artist's book with original photographs, published by The Rocket Press in a limited edition of 50 copies

Michelle Grabner Gingham Rocket The Suburban James Cohan

   Michelle Grabner | gingham | 2015 

click to view our inventory of available paintings

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