Curated by Michelle Grabner
July 9 - September 18, 2016

Portland2016 Biennial website

The Portland2016 Biennial of Contemporary Art is a major survey of Oregon artists who are defining and advancing the state’s contemporary arts landscape. The Biennial is a two-month opportunity for audiences, artists and their peers, mentors, teachers and arts professionals to discuss and celebrate Oregon art. It serves as a unique niche of recognition and support for the state’s most talented artists, and includes exhibitions, events, lectures and public projects. 

Disjecta has selected Michelle Grabner, a nationally recognized curator, artist, educator and community builder from Milwaukee, to lead the 2016 Biennial. She brings with her an impressive range of experience, including reputable academic posts, participation in several solo and group exhibitions, and an appointment as co-curator of the 2014 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art. 

Grabner, above all, is an artist advocate. She places acute value on studio practice, and conversations in and about the studio dominate her curatorial logos. It's a curatorial approach she intends to freely unveil to her audience—through captured audio, photos and notes from her studio visits, Grabner plans to bring artists and their processes to the forefront of this year's exhibition. By opening the doors to her research, she will highlight the ways in which artists create and communicate their work, as well as celebrate the conversations and learning that are a part of each studio visit. 

And there will be no shortage of material; Grabner reviewed over 400 applicants and conducted over 150 studio visits around the state for the Biennial—perhaps the most comprehensive survey of Oregon artists ever. 

As a curator, Grabner has been increasingly motivated by localism and the extant narratives therein. She ponders the idea of provincialism as it related to the broader contemporary scene and investigates how a trend toward “decentralization” is changing the landscape of art-making nationally.

Portland2016 is supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Robert Lehman Foundation.