Originally from Detroit, Michigan (USA) - Alison Grimm (b. 1983) works in a variety of media including sculpture, installation, drawing, and paper collage. The artwork conceptually centers on the transformative experience of the viewer evoked through sight, memory, and visualization. Over the course of the last decade Grimm has developed a deep interest in shrines, altars, orifices, and architectural focal points - exploring the capacity of these particular objects, shapes, and design methods to elicit emotional and symbolic meaning. Personal and collective histories, political and philosophical topics, and the challenges of communication and perception provide important foundations for her work. For example, Grimm's haunting work Territorial Exclusivity (2013) sought to bring focus to the racism that has shaped and plagued the development of regions like Detroit; constituting one work in an ongoing series of sculptures and installations that served as reflections on capitalism and American Dream mythologies. Her work also examines the interior world, our relationship to self and other, creating existential meanderings through many sculptures and artworks that employ perceptual devices and altar-like spaces. Her multi-layered approach invites layered interpretations and questions for the viewer's consideration.
Overall, through her utilization of found materials, architectural and geometric design, Grimm seeks the viewer’s attention and imagination to further these narratives while reflecting on their own personal and collective role, and potentials for the future. Creating an exchange with her audience through a process of interaction is very important to Grimm—the viewer’s presence and direct experience is the method through which the work is fully activated and made whole. Sculpture’s ability to function as a platform through which these physical, psychological, and emotive experiences can take shape has been a driving force behind the majority of her work thus far.
Grimm received her MFA in Sculpture from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan in 2018. Wayne State awarded her the Graduate Munich Exchange Fellowship in 2016, allowing her to complete the final year of her MFA in Germany while also diving in to critical cultural studies at Ludwig-Maximilians Universität (LMU), Munich's main public research university. One year turned into more as she decided to stay in Germany to complete an additional MA degree in 'American History, Culture, and Society' at LMU's Amerika-Institut. During the 2016-2019 period, Grimm primarily lived in Munich, Germany, getting involved in the local arts scene, furthering her art practice, while also focusing on finishing the MA program. Since 2020 she has been based again in the US.