Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Back in January 2007, I happened upon the Ruth Asawa exhibit at the de Young in San Francisco. Asawa's sculptures seem lighter than air as she weaves metal into seemingly impossible shapes, creating a lace-like appearance from crocheted wire. The sculptures appear deceivingly organic and are endlessly intriguing. Asawa's own life story augments the beauty of her work.
Asawa in her home surrounded by her sculptures.
Interned at 16 in a camp in California, Asawa honed her art skills among the droll of the internment camp. She then studied at the experimental Black Mountain College, where she gained confidence in her work and eventually met her husband, artist Albert Lanier. They married against the wishes of their families (interracial dating was still frowned up in the 40's, tisk, tisk) and had six bouncing babies while struggling as starving artists. Gradually Asawa began exhibiting her work and experimented with wire and other mediums. An advocate for the arts, she has also championed various public art schools. She is one progressive, incredibly talented lady. And I think everyone should know about her.