press release

Grace Weaver (*1989 in Vermont, USA) is part of a young generation of artists who in recent years have breathed new life into the tradition of figurative painting. Her large-format oil and acrylic paintings picture the most banal aspects of life in the 21st century, and in that way, serve as an updated take on genre painting for our current moment, and specifically for her generation. Protagonists of her works can be observed indulging in acts of self-care or leisure activities such as dressing up, shopping, doing sports, or sometimes simply being absorbed by their phones.

The strong visual impact generated by Weaver’s paintings draws from her ability to evoke mundane, relatable scenes through the use of simple forms and a plain visual language. In her new oil paintings, on view in her solo show O.K. at Kunstpalais, she develops her approach further by focusing on smaller groups of characters in more intimate settings, featuring couples and friends or portraits of individuals. Embraces, hugs, and the exchange of profound gazes become recurring, central motifs. Some of the canvasses are filled by large, solitary shapes like a hand or a female torso. Repeatedly, objects linked to the human body’s appearance and its posture gain center stage. For example a variety of shoes depicted in a new series of paintings seems to hint discreetly at their wearers' particular moods.

A general sense of ambivalence lies in the expression of individuals in Weaver’s works. They ask the viewer to read between the lines in search for the many connotations the phrase “O.K.” can imply. In everyday conversation, a simple “O.K.” can mean anything from heartfelt approval to polite disagreement. Similarly the figuration in Weaver’s paintings as well as her rich palette of warm and subtle colors offers a whole tableau to draw conclusions from. In correspondence with the oil paintings, the exhibition features a selection of Weaver’s charcoal drawings, themselves key elements in the artist’s oeuvre. They grant exciting additional insights into her working process.

On the occasion of her show at Kunstpalais and a second exhibition titled Little Sister, on display in parallel at Oldenburger Kunstverein, Grace Weaver’s first catalog will be published in November 2019. Featuring the works from both shows and a selection of Weaver’s most iconic paintings from the past years, the monograph will give an extensive overview on her oeuvre and serve as an important reference book. The publication will contain texts by Amely Deiss, Getrude Wagenfeld-Pleister and Malte Lin-Kröger as well as Berlin-based art journalists and authors Melissa Canbaz and Mitch Speed.

Curator: Malte Lin-Kröger