“My curiosity was aroused,” explained the American sculptor Ruth Asawa, “by the idea of giving structural form to the images in my drawings.” Asawa (1926–2013) was one of seven children born to Japanese immigrants in Norwalk, California. During the Second World War, her father was held in a detention center in New Mexico, while the rest of the family was interned in Arkansas. Consequently, Asawa’s teenage years were difficult. But by the late 1940s she was a student at Black Mountain College, in North Carolina, where she started weaving the wire sculptures that would make her name. Floating ethereally, they suggest single-cell organisms, molecular complexity. Asawa later worked in brass, iron, and copper, creating cast sculptures and larger pieces. Her relentless pursuit of form is the focus of this show. —E.C.
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