Wire and shadow

Untitled, 1965 — galvanized steel wire

I first saw the work of Ruth Asawa at the deYoung Museum in San Francisco; studying one of her hanging wire sculptures, I found the shadows it cast just as beautiful as the piece itself. Some of her work is also on display at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, including the one shown above.

Born in rural California, Asawa began to make art while detained in internment camps for Japanese Americans at Santa Anita, California, and Rohwer, Arkansas, where she was sent with her family in 1942-1943. Following her release, she enrolled in Milwaukee State Teachers College, eventually making her way to Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1946, then known for its progressive pedagogical methods and avant-garde aesthetic milieu. Asawa’s time at Black Mountain proved formative in her development as an artist, and she was influenced there in particular by her teachers Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, and the mathematician Max Dehn — Art Week, September 2017

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