Michelle Grabner, Katharina Grosse, Brad Killam, Philip Vanderhyden, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung
The exhibition, I speak now from the aesthetic and artistic point of view when I say that life with Michelle Grabner is dull brings together the work of four antithetical painters who Michelle Grabner, the Chicago-based artist, heralds as profoundly enabling to her own unvaried and unimaginative abstract investigations. The exhibition is diverting and self-critical, juxtaposing Grabner’s work with the work of Katharina Grosse (Berlin), Molly Zuckerman-Hartung (Chicago) Philip Vanderhyden (New York), and her husband, Brad Killam (Chicago). Grabner’s enthusiasm for dull Eucleadean rules and reductive visual vocabulary are absolved when measured against the gestural, chromatic, and material explorations by four artists she greatly esteems.
Grabner’s attraction to the transcending virtues of quantity and form via the act of counting points and lines is the result of theoretical and cultural imprinting. After all, Grabner is a middle age, middle class, mid-career, Mid-western mother of three who is deeply unsettled by her own subjectivity. The other paintings in the exhibition expose the unrelieved and idealistic conceit that Grabner desperately clings to when she is in the studio.
Grabner is an artist and writer who lives and works in Oak Park, IL. She is a professor and chair of the Painting and Drawing department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Musée d’Art Moderne, Luxemburg; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She is the co-editor of the newly released The Studio Reader, an anthology published by the University of Chicago Press. Grabner and her husband Brad Killiam run The Suburban, an artists project space in Oak Park, IL and The Poor Farm, a not-for-profit art space in rural Wisconsin. The Suburban will be participating at the Tate Modern’s 10th anniversary No Soul For Sale project in May 2010 and this summer The Poor Farm will host art historian Moira Roth?s Festschrift exhibition.