Grabner traverses the art world from theory to practice: as professor, critic, and curator as well as maker. She is chair of Painting and Drawing at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a regular contributor to leading arts publications. She is a senior critic at Yale University in the Department of Painting and Printmaking. Grabner co-curated the 2014 Whitney Biennial and in 2018 served as the inaugural artistic director of FRONT International, a triennial exhibition in Cleveland. With her husband, Brad Killam, Grabner also runs artist spaces in Milwaukee (The Suburban) and Northeastern Wisconsin (The Poor Farm).