In the midst of the ever-changing and often corporate-produced archetypes of the modern woman, the paintings and drawings of Grace Weaver (b.1989) tell honest stories which are in equal parts revealing and introspective. The artist often works with the concept of the watched female—sometimes joined by a male onlooker or captured in a net of social interactions—navigating the complexities of urban life. Like a psychological archive of daily activities, Weaver’s work mainly chronicles female experiences, in both the private and public realm.
Painting only from a physical scale that matches or supersedes her own, Weaver imagines figures which are long-limbed and heavily layered with colour, both confronting and relating to the viewer. Abounding with art historical references spanning from Mannerism to Rococo, Weaver’s compositions revive and challenge the tradition of genre painting in contemporary form. Communicating themes of the mundane, the melancholic and the emotional, Weaver takes that which is personal, transforming it into universally recognisable visual narratives.
“…Grace Weaver closely examines her own surroundings, her generation, our time. She is interested in that which is typical of the now, but after all she creates images like never before. For all the smartphones, to-go cups, avocado toasts, baby slings, and other fashion accessories, hers is a painting of subtle gestures, poses, and gazes, in which everything is lifted out of time and space by flat and boldly colored backgrounds, as in the golden grounds of early Christian icons.”
A. Deiss and G. Wagenfeld-Pleister, ‘Allegories of the Now: Introducing Grace Weaver’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 8
Image: Undertow, 2020, oil on canvas, 180.5 x 175.3 cm.; 71 x 69 in.
Selected Institutional Exhibitions
Grace Weaver et al.
How (Not) to Fit In – Metaphors of Adolescence (group show)
Villa Merkel, Esslingen
8 May – 17 July 2022
Adolescence is commonly located in youth, but our complex present means that its typical dynamics – ...