Curators Michelle Grabner and Jens Hoffman will present on the FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, a region-wide exhibition of work by international artists, curators and scholars. In museum spaces and unconventional sites spread across the city, FRONT will be an expansive stage for local, national and international artists to create and share new work that is inspired by and engaged with the most important social, political, cultural and environmental issues of today.
The inaugural exhibition, titled An American City, proposes a new format for art triennials, and focuses on process, research, collaboration, and long-term engagement. FRONT will provide an expansive stage for local, national, and international artists to create and share new work that is inspired by and engaged with the most important social, political, and cultural issues of our time. The themes and ideas explored by participating artists will be rooted in the spirit of Cleveland while connecting the cityʼs history and current realities to issues and ideas that are universal.
Michelle Grabner is a celebrated American painter and conceptual artist. Her work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Milwaukee Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; DaimlerChrysler Collection, Berlin; Mudam Luxembourg; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In November 2012, Grabner was selected as one of three curators to organize the 2014 Whitney Biennial in New York. She recently curated the 2016 Portland Biennial, a statewide exhibition in Oregon. Grabner is the Crown Family Professor in Painting and Drawing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. With her husband, Brad Killam, she co-directs the project spaces The Suburban, in Milwaukee, and the Poor Farm, in Little Wolf, Wisconsin. Michelle Grabner serves on the board of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
Jens Hoffmann is an exhibition maker, writer, educator and editor based in New York, Milan and Detroit. From 2012 to 2017 he was deputy director of the Jewish Museum in New York, where he currently works as director of exhibitions and public programs. He has been Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit since 2012 and a curator and senior adviser for the KADIST Art Foundation in San Francisco and Paris since 2008. In 2017 he was appointed curator for Fundación Arte in Buenos Aires. Formerly director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, and director of exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, Hoffmann has curated and co-curated more than five dozen exhibitions around the world, including the 9th Shanghai Biennale, the 12th Istanbul Biennial and the 2nd San Juan Triennial. He is the founding editor of The Exhibitionist: Journal on Exhibition Making and editor-at-large of Mousse magazine. Since 2003, Hoffmann has been adjunct professor at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan and was associate professor at the Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice at California College of the Arts in San Francisco (2006–2012). A frequent contributor to art magazines such as Frieze and Artforum, he has written more than 250 essays for exhibition catalogs and museum publications worldwide. In 2016, Hoffmann received the Award for Curatorial Excellence from the American Association of Art Museum Curators Foundation.