Michelle Grabenr (b. 1962) has been painting and working with paper for decades using various themes, patterns and materials. Recently, she has expanded her practice to include working with bronze by recycling her source materials to create intricate repeating patterns. For EXPO CHICAGO, she presents paintings and sculptures that have weight, texture and undercurrents of mathematics, economics, environmental and social concerns.
Abstraction and the ability to transpose and compose have always been strengths of Michelle Grabner. Previously used as a stencil for paintings and covered by paint, the blankets are dipped in wax and suspended before being cast in plaster molds which are later used to cast the sculptures in bronze using the lost wax technique. The drips and irregular gravity related shapes result from the process and add to the evolving patterns. A recycling economy is created from blanket to painting, sculpture mold to sculpture. Ecological, economical, entrepreneurial as well as artistic expression and communication are her domain.
Mutations are common in a career. Grabner’s is multifaceted and simultaneous as it includes her own art practice, teaching, curating, writing, being a spouse, mother and great friend. None has the upper hand, all are important and thriving in their own cross-fertilizing ways. Seeing the radial symmetry of her metal-point works evolve to burlap based paintings and then to gingham photos and painting, I wonder where her ability to see mathematical and other patterns will take her to next.
Troika is a collaborative contemporary art practice formed by Eva Rucki (b. 1976, Germany), Conny Freyer
(b. 1976, Germany) and Sebastien Noel (b. 1977, France) in 2003 based in London.
Troika’s work revolves around assumptions of knowledge and processes for attaining it. With a particular interest in the subjective and objective readings of reality and the various relationships we form with technology, they investigate the coalescence of seemingly irreconcilable opposites - nature and technology, the virtual and the real, the human and the non-human. Through drawing, sculpture and immersive installations they merge digital, hightech and natural processes and materials, that range from high voltage electricity, evolutionary computer algorithms, industrial acid, optics, soot or 3D programs to form a coalition between the increasingly abstract landscape surrounding us and experiences on a human scale.