Grace Weaver: STEPS: Paintings

15 July - 12 September 2020
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  • In her striking portrayals of the tragicomic everyday, Grace Weaver examines the charged social and cultural conditions that underlie self-concept, intimacy, and individual experience. Depicting elastic-limbed figures that collide on street-corners and tumble down steps, Weaver’s new paintings turn an incisive yet empathetic eye onto the self-conscious performativity and precarious footing of her contemporaries.

     

  • “Falling and being on one’s hands and knees is such a self-aware and self-conscious pose. Sometimes accidental and sometimes performed—and...

    “Falling and being on one’s hands and knees is such a self-aware and self-conscious pose. Sometimes accidental and sometimes performed—and sometimes both—one perceives one’s own appearance, sees oneself as one is being seen.”

     

    —Grace Weaver

     

     

  • In Weaver’s street scenes, the sidewalk serves as a stage upon which interpersonal dynamics and power struggles are played out....

    In Weaver’s street scenes, the sidewalk serves as a stage upon which interpersonal dynamics and power struggles are played out. Her works playfully explore the contradictions embedded in this social fabric: who has power, who is powerless; who is revealed, and who is hidden from the gaze of the viewer. These scenes allow her to create a chorality within the picture plane. The cast of characters, like Weaver, are as much subject to performing a strata of social anxieties as they are to wryly observing them.

  • "Emphasizing the weight and gravity of a figure makes visible the invisible: psychological states like anxiety, sadness, or self-consciousness. I’ve always been interested in very, very subtle emotional territory, like a painting of someone being passive aggressive or subtly self-conscious—these tiny, non-grand emotions. In these paintings, I want to push that type of discomfort into a feeling of failure. Or the feeling of watching yourself being watched failing.”

     

    —Grace Weaver

  • “Navigating public space as a woman requires a heightened awareness of one’s own body, self-presentation, and comportment. A visual motif...

    “Navigating public space as a woman requires a heightened awareness of one’s own body, self-presentation, and comportment. A visual motif of upskirt exposure recurs throughout the works in STEPS, charging them with innuendo and lending an ominous tenor.”

     

    —Susan Thompson

  • In Weaver’s work, the body itself becomes scenario: playful, sweeping lines and dense planes of luminous color act as linguistic elements, each directing its own physical weight and affect onto her female subjects. For Weaver, two paintings entitled Crying (I, Upwards) and Crying (II, Downwards) reference Picasso’s crying women, but “from a position less of cruel voyeurism than of embodiment and empathy.”

  • Grace Weaver (b. 1989, Vermont) received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in New York, NY; Burlington, VT; Berlin and Reutlingen in Germany, Glasgow, Scotland; and Chennai, India, and is featured in the collections of ­­­­FRAC des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France; ARoS Museum, Aarhus, Denmark; and the Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH. In 2019, Weaver presented concurrent solo exhibitions at institutions in Germany: O.K., at Kunstpalais Erlangen and Little Sister at Oldenburger Kunstverein. The two museums have collaborated on the first monograph of the artist's work, published by Kerber Verlag. Weaver lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.