The IQSCM is pleased to present Voltage, a selection of quilts by Erica Waaser. “I construct my quilts,” says Waaser, a native of Germany and an architect. Waaser considers her studio practice both an offshoot and an antidote to her day job in an engineering profession focused on design and function.

Abstract Expressionism is perhaps Waaser’s closest affinity, but she draws inspiration from various patchwork traditions, and from Post-Impressionist to Pop Art painting: Der Blaue Reiter artists like Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee, exuberant colorists like Henri Matisse and David Hockney, and inimitable pattern-makers like Jean Dubuffet and Cy Twombly. Space and matter compete, in the work of all these exemplars, to achieve near-perfect balance.

Waaser uses the medium of collage to develop shape languages, explore color relationships, and resolve questions of scale. The quilts shown here feature a vocabulary of rectangles and energetic lightning bolts. Squares and strips are broken up and reassembled to create surfaces that double as spacious landscapes and solid walls. Waaser deploys the properties of cloth—its softness and its substance—to investigate a relationship between painting and architecture.