The Linfield Gallery will be one of 25 venues hosting the PORTLAND2016 BIENNIAL

grabner at studio visist

July 9th- Sept 18th 2016

Disjecta Announces Twenty-Five Statewide Venues for the PORTLAND2016 BIENNIAL OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Venues such as the historic Astor Hotel in Astoria, Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, and Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts on the Umatilla Indian Reservation are included among twenty-five exhibition spaces across the state that form Disjecta Contemporary Art Center’s groundbreaking Portland2016 Biennial. Internationally renowned artist-curator Michelle Grabner selected thirty-four artists and artist-teams who will exhibit at wide-ranging venues from Ashland and Clatskanie to Madras and La Grande between July 9 and September 18. Mirroring the geographic span of the artists—thirteen are from outside Portland—Disjecta’s Biennial will engage sites across Oregon, making the project accessible to larger and more diverse audiences, while also encouraging visitors to travel between and explore host communities.

At the heart of Grabner’s vision is her investigation into regionalism, particularly how artists working in specific locations often reflect their geography and culture; and more broadly, how these local dynamics impact the global art world in a time of decentralization. During Grabner’s research, which included visits to 107 artists’ studios, she and Disjecta looked at potential exhibition sites, ranging from university galleries to museums, vacant storefronts, early 20th-century vaudeville theaters, garages, and libraries. “New and alternative exhibition contexts always present a challenge for artists. It is important to me that the artists I selected to represent the Portland2016 Biennial are offered an opportunity to grow and expand their creative process, to engage new audiences and exhibition sites,” Grabner says.

Grabner’s choice of artists—a mix of mid-career to emerging, working in a variety of media that encompass installation, film/video, sound, painting, craft, and social-based practice—is supported by her carefully-considered venue pairings. “We’ve always imagined the Biennial as a statewide event—a way to encourage cultural exchange,” says Disjecta Director Bryan Suereth. “Michelle’s interest in geographic proclivities made this an opportune year to expand the footprint of the exhibition. It serves a dual purpose; while celebrating the great art being made throughout the state, it also elevates the unique landscapes and communities of Oregon.”

Disjecta’s 3,000-square-foot main gallery will host Salon: Portland2016, The Studio Visits, an expansive exhibition of 106 artists that were selected out of over 400 applicants for a studio visit from Grabner (including the 34 artists featured in Portland2016). Visitors will gain an overview of Oregon’s current artistic production, observe thematic connections (or the lack thereof) among the larger body of works, and get a sense of Grabner’s own process. She describes the exhibition as “a curatorial index that celebrates the broad spectrum of art-making in Oregon and illuminates the research and selection process.”

Portland2016 is supported by the Oregon Cultural Trust, The Ford Family Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Robert Lehman Foundation and all of the partnering venues.

The following venues and artists form the Portland2016 Biennial (artist allocations are subject to change):





Incorporating writing, curating and teaching with a studio practice grounded in process and productivity, Grabner has created a multi-faceted and dynamic career. She is founder and co-director, along with her husband Brad Killiam, of three artist spaces that embody new models for facilitating and presenting artists’ projects: The Suburban, in both Riverwest and Walker’s Point, WI; and The Poor Farm, a year-long exhibition space at the former Waupaca County Poor Farm in Little Wolf, WI. Her criticism and essays are published in Artforum, Modern Painters, Frieze, Art Press, and Art-Agenda, among others. In 2014 Grabner was one of three curators for the prestigious Whitney Biennial. As an artist, Grabner works in variety of mediums including drawing, painting, video and sculpture. Over four dozen solo exhibitions of her work have been organized by galleries and institutions including the Indianapolis Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; INOVA, The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; Ulrich Museum, Wichita, KS; and University Galleries, Illinois State University. Her work is in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Milwaukee Art Museum; DaimlerChrysler Collection, Berlin; Musee d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; Mudam Museum, Luxembourg; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Grabner joined the faculty of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996, becoming Chair of its Painting and Drawing department in 2009. She has taught at Yale University, Bard College, The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the University of Wisconsin, the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and the University of Pennsylvania. Grabner holds an MA in Art History and a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University.

As David Norr writes in the introduction to her solo exhibition at MoCA, Cleveland, “All of Grabner’s activities are driven by distinctive values and ideas: working outside of dominant systems, working tirelessly, working across platforms and towards community.”



Portland2016 continues the tradition of the Oregon Biennial, begun by the Portland Art Museum in 1949. With the end of the Museum’s Biennial in 2006, Oregon artists lost a longstanding platform for career advancement. In 2010, Disjecta introduced a refreshed Biennial, curated by then-Linfield College Gallery Director Cris Moss. The exhibition spanned nine venues throughout Portland and included 19 Oregon artists. Portland2012 presented the work of 24 artists at five venues and was curated by Prudence F. Roberts, former curator of American Art at the Portland Art Museum. Portland2014 was curated by Amanda Hunt, Associate Curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and included 15 artists.



Disjecta Contemporary Art Center builds ambitious programs that promote artists and engage communities. These programs present forward-thinking work from visual and performing artists, provide crucial resources so that artists can realize their best work, and fuel collaborations between artists, curators, and viewers. Disjecta exacts equal rigor from local and national artists, while keenly recognizing and supporting the talent of the region