’s meticulous abstractions unfurl into lush, complex systems
of syncopated shapes that recall networks of all kinds. The San Francisco-born,
Washington, D.C.-based artist is currently getting her due in the Arkansas Art
Center’s National Drawing Invitational, which convenes eight artists who are
expanding the definition of drawing and the way it is commonly perceived.
the 1980s, Way has approached her work with the systematic precision of a
mathematician tackling a proof. By imposing a set of rules that govern how
marks build, interlock, and ultimately tessellate across her substrates, Way
creates compositions that are at once organized and organic. The results have
amassed as a treasure trove of jewel-like, geometric drawings that emulate
patterns pulled from nature, culture, and technology.
the repetitive, rhythmic energy of Piet Mondrian
’s jazz paintings and Yayoi Kusama
’s dot abstractions, Way’s Murano
(2011) fuses structure with spontaneity. Like the piece’s namesake network
of Venetian bridges and glass traditions, Way’s ordered arrangement of lines
lead to pockets of free-form activity that emanate from bright blue and red
orbs and undulating, amoeba-like outlines. Similarly, Gray Lagoon
and Lavender Field
(2012) are inspired by Way’s personal experiences in
nature, but play out as ambiguous abstractions that call to mind fantastical
celestial networks, sci-fi switchboards, and maps of mystical lands.