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Ruth Asawa - A World Wonder

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

♣️ Motions in Monochrome - The Art of Black & White ♣️

Ruth Asawa, how I LOVE YOU!!

Asawa is one of my new art history loves and is part of the ever-growing lists of artists I have discovered during lockdown.

Pictured is an installation view from the artists show ‘Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work at the Pulitzer’ which was on display from September 2018 – February 2019

Asawa is an American sculptor best known for her beautiful wire sculptures which are pictured above. They consist of looped wire and forms within forms. They are near always suspended from the ceiling.

They appear almost weightless. Timeless. More importantly, the artist has transformed a mundane and industrial material, wire, into something truly beautiful.

Born in California, she studied at Black Mountain College a hub of creativity and experimentation in North Carolina. As a Japanese-American, Asawa was placed in an internment camp after the bombing of pearl harbour as Americans saw the presence of Japanese-Americans as a threat to national security. She was here for several years.

After a summer teaching in Mexico, villagers taught her to weave wire baskets – the beginning of her wire sculpture practice!

She explained:

‘I was interested in it because of the economy of a line, making something in space, enclosing it without blocking it out. It’s still transparent. I realised that if I was going to make these forms, which interlock and interweave, it can only be done with a line because a line can go anywhere.’

She went onto teach in San Francisco and was an active lobbyist in advocating arts education for all within the city.

Asawa would go on to serve on the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts in 1976, and from 1989–1997 she served as a trustee of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

The San Francisco School of the Arts was renamed the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in her honour in 2010.

In 2020, the United States Postal Service issues a set of postage stamps to honour the artist and her work!

The estate is represented by gallery David Zwirner.

Follow the estate on Instagram.

Jo McLaughlin, Jan 2021.

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