Galerie Gisela Clement is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of the American artist Michelle Grabner in Germany.
Textile patterns run through the artist’s work. In her wool pictures, paintings, drawings and installations, the artist explores the phenomenon of domesticated ornaments in an almost semiotic way. Her “sample paintings” provide the image of a society of copies, of industrial reproduction. Thus the “lid pictures” shown alongside other serial works in the exhibition reverse the process of appropriation by the food industry, which prints Bingham patterns on lids of jam jars to create the impression of “handmade”. Michelle Grabner for her part casts these lids in bronze and paints them by hand with the genuine pattern familiar to us.
Grabner is also concerned with the signifiers of the feminine, referring to artistic practices such as weaving, sewing, and spinning, which are being reappraised as feminist practices in contemporary art: Making fabrics, shaping patterns and joining threads is associated with feminist qualities such as empowerment through organization and collectivism. Grabner’s work forms a network of similarity series that is open to all sides and always makes new, non-hierarchical references possible.
Michelle Grabner (*1962 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA, lives and works in Wisconsin, USA) studied painting, drawing and art history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the 1980s and art practice and art theory at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. Since 1997 she has been Crown Family Professor of Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and guest professorships at Yale and elsewhere complement her academic activities. As an art critic she writes regularly for the Artforum and x-tra, among others. Together with her husband, the artist Brad Killam, she curates the project spaces “The Suburban” and “The Poor Farm”. In 2014 she was co-curator of the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Grabner was the first artistic director of FRONT International, a triennial exhibition held in Cleveland, OH and the surrounding area from July to September 2018.