photo: imogen cunningham

When Mondoblogo published a post of Ruth Asawa’s extraordinary crocheted wire sculptures – with hardly any commentary – our first thought was: we want a house filled with that work, those forms hanging above. Then we looked her up. At we learned:

When Ruth was 16, she and her family were interned along with 120,000 other people of Japanese ancestry who lived along the West Coast of the United States. For many, the upheaval of losing everything, most importantly their right to freedom and a private, family life, caused irreparable harm. For Ruth, the internment was the first step on a journey to a world of art that profoundly changed who she was and what she thought was possible in life. In 1994, when she was 68 years old, she reflected on the experience: ‘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.’

It is an attitude we admire: the ability to move forward and live and find the gifts hidden in things that might seem devastating. Before the internment, Ruth spent most of her free time working on the family farm. It was during the internment that she had time to explore making art, eventually studying with Josef Albers at Black Mountain College. The ethereal organic forms she made came directly from her experience working on the farm

…one experience impacting the other and back again…

photo: imogen cunningham

Dig her lovely living room: her forms make it strangely serene…


See more pictures of Asawa’s work at Mondoblogo or check out The Sculpture of Ruth Asawa: Contours in the Air

Related posts: frida kahlo’s body cast paintings (art transforms)
jiro ono’s philosophy of work and art
role model: david smith
role model: lucien freud, 82, painting

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3 replies on “ruth asawa: adversity allowed time for art

  1. I¨m from Caracas, Venezuela. I love your work and very pleased to visit your blog, because I´m a metalsmith and escultor.

  2. Hi Luz, Thanks for your words. I’ve been checking out your site. Really wonderful. I’d like to hang out in your workshop.

  3. Thanks Sally. I´m just looking your comments a year late. Excuses.
    I¨m doing my work and exhibitions between Caracas, Venezuela, and Miami, Fl. but my wokshop still in Caracas.

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