In Affront, a solitary female character is exposed to approaching elements as she walks outdoors against a dense, salmon-hued sky. Her eyes lock onto a pair of bulbous clouds pressed firmly against the picture plane. For Weaver, clouds are “embodiments of fate.” The wind and weather often operate as concrete stand-ins for emotions ranging from tangible fear to a more ambiguous uncertainty. An unseen gust of wind is caught by the figure’s pinstriped skirt, which billows to reveal her upper thigh. While many of her motifs are specific to power, identity, and aspirational self-presentation within a context of the present-day, her works are likewise filled with art-historical references: here, for example, Weaver’s use of a weighted-gradient line against the boundaries of the female body nods toward the dark outlining of Max Beckmann or Fernand Léger’s cubist female portraits.
Grace Weaver: STEPS, James Cohan, New York, NY, July 15 - September 12, 2020