Grace Weaver: Steps
July 15 – September 12, 2020
Spinning together elements from contemporary life and art history in order to arrive at something new, Grace Weaver makes whimsical figurative works that cleverly communicate psychological sensibilities through rubbery human forms. A 2015 Virginia Commonwealth University MFA grad, who hit the ground running and has been on the rise ever since, Weaver creates colorful canvases and lively charcoal drawings of self-conscious characters (mostly young women) caught in awkward—often comical—situations, in which they are totally aware of publicly being watched.
“These are characters, for sure, but they have an indirect relationship to real people,” Weaver confidently declared in a 2013 videotaped show-and-tell presentation on her work. “They’re doll-like and nearly human, but not quite. Like dolls, they have the qualities of being surrogate bodies. They end up being repositories for whatever sensations I choose to invest in them.”
Her compelling painting Affront turns a young woman with a billowing dress into a balloon-like figure charmingly composed from comical, connected shapes. The densely painted, outlined forms pop on the monochromatic, flesh-colored ground, while the subject’s sly, side-eyed smirk suggests both embarrassment in the uncontrollable incident and offense at being improperly observed.