Grace Weaver

Selected Works

Untitled (Women)

2021
oil on canvas
241.3 x 226.1 cm.; 95 x 89 in.
Photo: Phoebe d´Heurle

“In Grace Weaver’s paintings, vitality is not limited to materiality but extends to the level of imagery: Wellness, sports, and self-care routines repeatedly appear, as do social units such as families and couples. The content of the paintings is inextricable from their making. As Weaver creates these paintings, her characters themselves are in a perpetual state of becoming.”  

M. Canbaz, ‘Heavy Painting: Weight and Affect, Ideals of Beauty and Social Tropes in Grace Weaver’s Painting’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 94

Untitled (Woman)

2021
oil on canvas
241.3 x 226.1 cm.; 95 x 89 in.
Photo: Phoebe d´Heurle

“All painting contains some degree of self-portraiture, especially in the case of figurative painting. That’s how I see the individual female figures in my work. They’re usually stand-ins or proxies for me, but on a psychological rather than a visual level. ‘Emotional self-portraits’ is maybe the best way to describe their relationship to me.”

G. Weaver in conversation with E. Pricco, ‘Grace Weaver: The Big Picture’, in Juxtapoz Magazine, Autumn 2018

Bud

2021
oil on canvas
124.5 × 114.5 cm.; 48 7/8 x 45 1/8 in.

“The new works, with their dark and sombre colours, are in stark contrast to her previous bright and colourful paintings. Weaver has also abandoned her distinctive contours, enclosing bodies and things alike. Nonetheless, at first glance, one can easily detect Weaver’s unique style and recurring narrative inspiration, with her female characters immersed in their daily activities.”

N. Afzali, ‘Interior Motives’, in Berlin Art Link, 18 June 2021

Undertow

2020
oil on canvas
180.5 × 175.5 cm.; 71 x 69 1/8 in.
Photo: def image

“Although there are many people doing many things in Grace Weaver’s paintings, color grabs you first. The colors have big, almost sentient personalities. From this realization, the works’ most captivating aspect goes hi-def. These paintings condense multiple dimensions into the singular picture plane. First there is a chromatic realm, which lives independent of us human beings. Then there is the realm of human activity, where color is so often used as mere decoration. Weaver’s work transports us into a third zone, wherein hues have taken over, stirring and electrifying life.”

M. Speed, ‘Marigold: Considering Grace Weaver’s Colors’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 26

Intersection

2020
oil on canvas
241.3 x 226.1 cm.; 95 x 89 in.
Photo: Phoebe d´Heurle

“Of all the works in the show, Intersection is perhaps the most evocative of pandemic panic. Two women— one out for a jog, the other hoisting a young child on her shoulders—eye each other warily as they pass each other crossing the street. Though they seem to studiously avoid one another, their legs appear some- how entangled by unhappy accident. Several caterpillar-shaped plumes of smoke, steam, and exhaust wend through the composition. Most straightforwardly, these shapes represent various urban air pollutants, but in the context of the pandemic Weaver also sees how they might reference 14th-15th century miasma theory, which held that diseases spread through society in concentrated clouds of poisonous air. In the context of a city contracting from the threat of contagious disease, the notions of public exposure and vulnerability raised earlier take on additional resonances.”

S. Thompson, ‘Grace Weaver: The Theater of Public Life’, James Cohan, July 2020, p. 5

Blunderer

2020
charcoal on paper
62.2 x 45.7 cm.; 24 1/2 x 18 in.
64.8 x 48.3 cm.; 25 1/2 x 19 in. (framed)
Photo: Phoebe d´Heurle

“Considering the importance of drawing for Grace Weaver’s practice, one finds fascinating parallels between her images and handwriting. Drawing gives her the ability to efficiently transmute an idea into a pictorial sketch, thus functioning as a kind of note-taking or visual brain-storming. By continuously erasing and reforming the shapes of her figures until a final pose or arrangement is found, she achieves maximum impact for each motif. These condensed motifs are often translated into paintings, taking the final composition without the procedural residue.”

M. Lin-Kröger, ‘Non-Chalance and Self-Determination: On Grace Weaver’s Daytime TV ’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 132-133

Daytime TV

2019
oil on canvas
108.5 x 124 cm.; 43 x 49 in.

Daytime TV belongs to a small series of paintings in which Grace Weaver turns to shoes as her subject matter. Apart from the loafers, there are black stilettos, light blue ones criss-crossed with a multi-colored diamond pattern, as well as larger-than-life checkered platforms, presented up close. These shoes already characterize certain types of people. However, they are never shown in isolation. There are always feet inside these shoes, filling them with life. Almost like psychograms, these paintings invite viewers not only to gaze at them but to actively decode them in search of the particular moods and personalities of the shoes’ wearers.
[…] In Grace Weaver’s paintings, we sense and see that all of her protagonists claim and take on active roles, manifested in every gesture from tip to painted toe. Thus, even a loafer, nonchalantly dropped, is enough to say it all.”

M. Lin-Kröger, ‘Non-Chalance and Self-Determination: On Grace Weaver’s Daytime TV’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 132-133

Parentheses

2019
oil on canvas
226 × 241.3 cm.; 89 x 95 in.
Photo: Phoebe d´Heurle

“Grace Weaver builds up her paintings in numerous layers of matte oil paint. The densely colored surfaces give the pictures a certain weight, recalling the forms of painters like Philip Guston or Fernand Léger. Borrowing a term more commonly associated with music, Weaver herself calls this way of applying color “heavy painting”. In Parentheses (2019), bodies and clothes are rounded and molded. These figures indeed do appear and feel heavy, as though they are struggling against gravity to achieve uprightness. Further intensity is added and literally embedded in the painted surface with traces of brushstrokes evoking a ‘haptic longing to touch.’ Each curve of a body in the painting is bound in by a heavy, sculpted brushstroke.”

M. Canbaz, ‘Heavy Painting: Weight and Affect, Ideals of Beauty and Social Tropes in Grace Weaver’s Painting’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 94

Peak Season

2018
acrylic on canvas
226 × 241.5 cm.; 89 x 95 1/8 in.
Photo: Phoebe d´Heurle

“The painting Peak Season (2018) is ostensibly a scene of summer leisure. Its composition is a rubbery web of color: pinks, reds, blues, greens, and of course yellows. Looping and whipping shapes become the limbs of tourists gone tropical. Some are laden with cameras. Predictably, some seem more fatigued than excited. One slouches to examine a map. Another exits the picture, holding a coconut impaled with a straw. A few big and cartoony people share the foreground. Those in the background are small jottings. This surreal compression of so much near and distant activity, casts the painting as a millennial answer to Pieter Bruegel’s jam-packed Flemish Renaissance landscapes. Except here there’s no snow—just elated chroma and swooning palm trees.”

M. Speed, ‘Marigold: Considering Grace Weaver’s Colors’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 26

upkeep

2018
acrylic on canvas
226 × 241.5 cm.; 89 x 95 1/8 in.

“I love working with the biggest canvasses that I can. So much of what is important to me is gesture—dramatic brushstrokes and big shapes. I find that’s only really possible when the canvas is the size of my body or bigger. […] The paintings need to be as big as they are to have an impact on a physical level. Color depends so much on quantity. Even if the paintings have a politeness to the subject matter or a prettiness to the color, I want them to be confrontational in some way. Scale is one way to do that.”

G. Weaver in conversation with E. Pricco, ‘Grace Weaver: The Big Picture’, in Juxtapoz Magazine, Autumn 2018

finale

2017
oil on canvas
153 x 127 cm.; 60 x 50 in.

“Such pictures enchant us—both by their complexity and directness. Essentially, they are allegories of the now. We empathize with their characters, because we can recognize ourselves in them. Their moods and temperaments are ours, too, and tracing them is just one of the many charms of Grace Weaver’s paintings, which unify so many opposites in exciting harmony.”

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. 9

studies for a selfie

2017
ink on paper, in four parts
30.5 × 23 cm., 12 x 9 in.

“Drawing is also the most direct sort of image-making, and a way to generate tons of ideas. There is no reason not to make a drawing because it’s so low stakes. That allows me to entertain the tiniest and dumbest of ideas, whether it’s someone painting her toenails or buying bodega candy or fixing her bra strap. Sometimes, though, one of these ‘dumb' ideas will have a magnetism or a poignancy that demands to become a painting.”

G. Weaver in conversation with E. Pricco, ‘Grace Weaver: The Big Picture’, in Juxtapoz Magazine, Autumn 2018

girl at brunch

2017
oil on canvas
101 x 76 cm.; 39 3/4 x 29 7/8 in.
Photo: Phoebe d´Heurle

“Grace Weaver’s pictures are like moments in the life of a young generation and, at the same time, reflect their mood. Motifs include narrative tropes such as family, lifestyle, and recreation, but extend to the emotional dimension, with psychological tropes like self-consciousness, imposter syndrome, disillusionment, and passive aggression frequently recurring. Thus, the visual narratives are not only based on the pure application of a type of role play but extend further into the emotional realm.”

M. Canbaz, “Heavy Painting: Weight and Affect, Ideals of Beauty and Social Tropes in Grace Weaver’s Painting,“ in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 95

the date

2016
oil on canvas
91 × 91 cm.; 35 7/8 x 35 7/8 in.

“Although Weaver’s paintings are technically still, they animate life, albeit in sudden and surprising ways. Take that red shadowed lover. His face has the intensity of synthetic flavoring, even if the specific taste remains elusive. And then there’s the orange beverage, which he sucks through a straw, itself outlined in a glowing yellow-white. I want to taste that orange drink. Its fluorescence evokes tangy juice. Just like the liquid that used to flow into my own childhood gullet. In this way the painting sends synthetic sugar waves through a viewer’s gray matter. This is painting as the transfiguration of a known world into something so vivid it becomes alien.”

M. Speed, ‘Marigold: Considering Grace Weaver’s Colors’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 27

see-saw

2016
oil on canvas
216 × 254 cm.; 85 x 100 in.

“Grace Weaver is interested in the relationships between people and spaces and in the state of togetherness, and less so in the examination of the individual. In that sense, the paintings reflect and are embedded in a network of relationships, just as each individual person is enmeshed in a society.”

M. Canbaz, ‘Heavy Painting: Weight and Affect, Ideals of Beauty and Social Tropes in Grace Weaver’s Painting’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 95

profile

2015
oil on linen
120 x 100 cm.; 47 x 39 in.
Photo: Phoebe d´Heurle

“In the earliest stages of a painting, I spend a lot of time working in one or two colors, figuring out the composition. I start out more in the mode of an abstract painter, concerned mostly about the geometry and rhythm of the painting. It’s kind of like piecing together a puzzle, working through trial and error until all of the shapes come together. That happens before I’m even considering facial expressions or clothing or relationships. The individual figures arise as the residue of the activity of painting.”

G. Weaver in conversation with E. Pricco, “Grace Weaver: The Big Picture,” in Juxtapoz Magazine, Autumn 2018

lust for lite

2015
oil on linen
200 × 240 cm.; 78 3/4 x 94 1/2 in.

“It’s a transfixing enigma, the way that the scale of Weaver’s hues echoes a scale of sentiment implicit in the scenes depicted. The work’s personal, social, compositional, and chromatic content are built into a polyphonic chorus. The fact that this chorus hangs together so convincingly—that it achieves an uncanny sense of coherence despite each of its elements being so autonomously lucid—is one reason that these paintings grip viewers. There is an elaborate kind of intoxication on offer here. It is made from images, chromatic experiences, and compositional arrangements. But for any person who is not a Rococo daydreamer, it is realness that catalyzes the work’s effect.”

M. Speed, ‘Marigold: Considering Grace Weaver’s Colors’, in Grace Weaver, exh. cat., Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg; Bielefeld: Kerber Verlag, 2020, p. 28


All works: © Grace Weaver. Courtesy of the artist; James Cohan, New York; and Soy Capitán, Berlin