Ruth Asawa Wiki
Ruth Aiko Asawa (January 27, 1926 – August 6, 2013) was a Japanese-American sculptor. Asawa’s work is in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Fifteen of her wire sculptures are on permanent display in the tower of San Francisco’s de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Asawa was an arts education advocate and the driving force behind the creation of the San Francisco School of the Arts, which was renamed the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in 2010 in tribute to her.
Ruth Aiko Asawa was an American sculptor. Asawa’s work is in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. #RuthAsawa #sculptor #sotartsnyc pic.twitter.com/xB7zHMiZJD
— SOTArts NYC (@sotartsnyc) May 1, 2019
Ruth Asawa, a famed sculptor known for her intricate, elegant wire designs and the daughter of Japanese immigrants, is the subject of a Google Doodle in honor of Asian-American Pacific Islander month in the United States.
Today’s Google Doodle is…Ruth Asawa! The wire sculpture artist overcame post World War II prejudice to create some of contemporary art’s most transcendent works. https://t.co/3sTU2LoYlW
— hyperallergic (@hyperallergic) May 1, 2019
Google calls her an “acclaimed Japanese-American artist and educator who overcame great adversity throughout her journey, ultimately exhibiting her intricate wire sculptures and works on paper in museums around the world.”
Today’s Google Doodle: [tie_full_img][/tie_full_img]She overcame World War II discrimination to become a renowned sculptor and advocate for art’s transformative power. Learn more about Ruth Asawa here: https://t.co/pfOQi3BhJV pic.twitter.com/FHJbTFdApX
— Insigniam (@Insigniam) May 1, 2019
Ruth Asawa Early life and education
#RuthAsawa is primarily known as a sculptor, as seen in today’s #GoogleDoodle marking the first day of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, but she made this lithograph, “Desert Flower” in 1965! pic.twitter.com/sQW4Eqo7tu
— Museum of Fine Arts (@mfaboston) May 1, 2019
Ruth Asawa was born in 1926 in Norwalk, California, one of seven children. Her parents, immigrants from Japan, operated a truck farm until the Japanese American internment during World War II. Except for Ruth’s father, the family was interned at an assembly center hastily set up at the Santa Anita racetrack for much of 1942, after which they were sent to Rohwer War Relocation Center in Arkansas. Ruth’s father, Umakichi Asawa, was arrested by FBI agents in February 1942 and interned at a detention camp in New Mexico. For six months following, the Asawa family did not know if he was alive or dead. Asawa did not see her father for six years. Ruth’s younger sister, Nancy (Kimiko), was visiting family in Japan when her family was interned. She was unable to return, as the U.S. prevented entry even of American citizens from Japan. Nancy was forced to stay in Japan for the duration of the war. Asawa said about the internment.
Ruth Asawa Career
In the 1950s, Asawa experimented with crocheted wire sculptures of abstract forms that appear as three-dimensional line drawings. She learned the basic technique while in Toluca, Mexico, where villagers used a similar technique to make baskets from galvanized wire. 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 realized 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.
While her technique for making sculptures resembles weaving, she did not study weaving nor did she use fiber materials.
Asawa’s wire sculptures brought her prominence in the 1950s, when her work appeared several times in the annual exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and in the 1955 São Paulo Art Biennial.
In 1962, Asawa began experimenting with tied wire sculptures of images rooted in nature that became increasingly geometric and abstract as she continued to work in that form. “Ruth was ahead of her time in understanding how sculptures could function to define and interpret space,” said Daniell Cornell, curator of the de Young Museum in San Francisco. “This aspect of her work anticipates much of the installation work that has come to dominate contemporary art.”
In 1968, Asawa created her first representational work, a mermaid fountain in Ghirardelli Square on San Francisco’s waterfront. Near Union Square (on Stockton Street, between Post and Sutter Streets), she created a fountain for which she mobilized 200 schoolchildren to mold hundreds of images of the city of San Francisco in dough, which were then cast in iron. Over the years, she went on to design other public fountains and became known in San Francisco as the “fountain lady”.
The Estate of Ruth Asawa is represented by David Zwirner gallery. Her debut exhibition with David Zwirner, Ruth Asawa, took place from September 13 – October 21, 2017.
Ruth Asawa Personal life
Asawa married architect Albert Lanier in July 1949. The couple had six children: Xavier (1950), Aiko (1950), Hudson (1952), Adam (1956), Addie (1958), and Paul (1959). Albert Lanier died in 2008. Asawa died of natural causes on August 5, 2013, at her San Francisco home at the age of 87.
Ruth Asawa Death Cause
Asawa died of natural causes on August 5, 2013, at her San Francisco home at the age of 87.
Ruth Asawa Quotes
“Sculpture is like farming. If you just keep at it, you can get quite a lot done.”
“I hold no hostilities for what happened; I blame no one. Sometimes good comes through adversity. I would not be who I am today had it not been for the Internment, and I like who I am,” she said in 1994 at the age of 68.
“Teachers there were practicing artists, there was no separation between studying, performing the daily chores, and relating to many art forms. I spent three years there and encountered great teachers who gave me enough stimulation to last me for the rest of my life — Josef Albers, painter, Buckminster Fuller, inventor, Max Dehn, the mathematician, and many others. Through them I came to understand the total commitment required if one must be an artist,” she said about her time at Black Mountain College.
“Learn something. Apply it. Pass it on so it is not forgotten,” she said about teaching.
“Art will make people better, more highly skilled in thinking and improving whatever business one goes into, or whatever occupation. It makes a person broader,” she said about the role art can play in one’s life.
Ruth Asawa Google Tribute
#RuthAsawa and her distinctive wire sculptures are highlighted today in the ultimate online tribute: in celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, the artist is featured in @google’s #GoogleDoodle for the next 24 hours.#apahm pic.twitter.com/AU7aHtW8bC
— David Zwirner (@davidzwirner) May 1, 2019
And there are a number of Ruth Asawa’s sculptures at the @deyoungmuseum in #SF (albeit in artfully hung) in the atrium before the elevator leading to the observation tower platform. https://t.co/eu8uhbe2ZE
— Viewer (@PeripateticMe) May 1, 2019
10 Facts You Need to Know
- Ruth Asawa’s Family Spent Time in Internment Camps & She Used That Experience to Create Art
- Asawa Overcame Prejudice While Trying to Earn a College Degree
- Asawa Was Known for Biomorphic Wire Forms
- Ruth Asawa’s Designs Were Inspired by Plants
- Asawa Was an Advocate of Public Arts Education
- She compared her looped wire sculpture pieces to medieval mail and said that the shadows would “reveal the exact image of the object
- he also worked with tied wire sculpture and electroplated work as well as cast sculpture.
- She worked with wire specifically to create some of her best-known art and her work is on display all over the world.
- Asawa was a teenager during World War II
- Her family was forced to go to a Japanese internment camp where she, her five siblings and her mother lived in two horse stalls