Ruth Asawa in T Magazine
“Today, Asawa has returned as a subject of rediscovery—someone who has finally been given the kind of international recognition that was owed during her lifetime, and whose legacy reflects both her own contributions as an artist as well as the singular path she forged for herself as the child of immigrants, a woman and an Asian-American. This past April, the United States Postal Service announced that ten different works of Asawa’s would be featured on a series of postage stamps, out next month. Also in April, the first comprehensive biography of Asawa, Everything She Touched by Marilyn Chase, was published by Chronicle Books. She is now routinely included in comprehensive group shows alongside artists such as Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks and Bourgeois.
In a culture of acknowledging those who were previously overlooked, when artists and their earliest champions are finally getting their dues, there is a satisfaction in witnessing the record be corrected. Yet a purely revisionist approach ignores the ways in which Asawa’s art is still remarkably contemporary, how it is a clear articulation of midcentury art’s engagement with spatial abstraction. I have stood in a gallery hung with Asawa’s wire sculptures, where the movement of my own body has caused them to sway, the shadows of the woven wire dancing against the floor. For a moment, I was quietly transported elsewhere—to the deep sea, to a forest or maybe to someplace altogether unearthly.’’
Read the full feature in T Magazine
Image: Portrait of Ruth Asawa forming a looped-wire sculpture, 1957. Photo by Imogen Cunningham. © 2019 Imogen Cunningham Trust