FRONT International: An American City

Image: Julian Stanczak, Carter Manor, 1973, a commission from the Cleveland City Mural Project.

FRONT International: An American City
Thursday, April 19, 2018
ICI Curatorial Hub

401 Broadway, Suite 1620
FREE and open to the public


Michelle Grabner, Artistic Director of FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, will present on its inaugural edition, followed by a conversation with María del Carmen Carrión, ICI’s Director of Public Programs & Research. They will discuss the critical landscape shaping biennial and triennial exhibitions today. The FRONT Triennial will take place from July 14–September 30, 2018 with Press and Professional Preview Days July 12 & 13, 2018.

The first edition of FRONT is titled An American City. This collaboration with museums, civic institutions, and alternative spaces across Cleveland, Akron and Oberlin, will showcase an ambitious roster of projects, including performance and theater throughout the landscape and built environment. This discussion will investigate how biennials foster dialogue with local and global audiences, address and interpret the politics of localism, the role of regional discourses, and if localism and globalism are the pivotal frameworks for biennials.

Grabner will explore the how primacy of national representation has disappeared as an organizing conceit for biennials in favor of internationalism and why biennials still carry the charge to include new artwork and new artists and the mandate to foreground unfamiliar art worlds. The discussion will also delve into how FRONT in particular will examine the ever-changing and politically urgent conditions of an American city.


This event is free and open to the public. To attend, please RSVP to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with FRONT in the subject line.


This event is accessible to people with mobility disabilities. Please contact ICI for additional accessibility needs.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

April 19, 2018

ICI Curatorial Hub
401 Broadway, Suite 1620
New York, NY 10013


Michelle Grabner

Michelle Grabner is an artist, a writer, and a curator based in Wisconsin. She is the Crown Family Professor of Art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she has taught for twenty years. In addition Grabner has also had teaching appointments at The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cranbrook Academy of Art; Yale Norfolk; Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts - Bard College; Yale University School of Art; and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, MOCA Cleveland, Illinois State Galleries, and INOVA at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee have each hosted survey exhibitions of Grabner’s work. She is also dedicated to exhibiting in alternative and unconventional sites in addition to commercial and institutional venues. Grabner co-curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial and curated the 2016 Portland Biennial. She is co-artistic director for FRONT International – Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art to launch in 2018. Her reviews are regularly published in X-tra and Artforum. In 2010, Mary Jane Jacob and Grabner co-edited THE STUDIO READER, published by the University of Chicago Press. With her husband and Brad Killam, they founded The Suburban in 1999 in Oak Park, IL hosting a range of international contemporary art. After 16 years in the Chicago vicinity, The Suburban began programming exhibitions in a two storefronts located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2009 Grabner and Killam opened The Poor Farm in rural Wisconsin. The Poor Farm is dedicated to annual historical and contemporary exhibitions, lectures, performances, publications, screenings and alternative free pedagogical programs.

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