Untitled (S.453, Hanging Three-Lobed, Three-Layered Continuous Form within a Form)
41 1/4 x 16 1/4 x 16 1/4 in.
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchase with funds from the Ruth Carter Stevenson Acquisition Endowment
© 2020 The Estate of Ruth Asawa
Asawa was born in California, but like many Japanese Americans of her era, she was sent to an internment camp by the U.S. government in 1942. Amid these unjust conditions, Asawa found a creative outlet in drawing and painting, and following her release she trained for a period to be an art teacher. In 1946 she began attending Black Mountain College, an experimental art school in North Carolina that welcomed refugees and others whose lives were disrupted by World War II.
During her time at the college, she traveled in 1947 to Toluca, Mexico, where she encountered traditional looped-wire baskets. Inspired by the complexity of the craft, she began working in wire, creating intricate, three-dimensional spheres from tight, repeated loops. These spheres are at once transparent and enclose space, making their relationship to their surroundings and viewers an essential part of the piece. With this work and others like it, Asawa redefined sculpture’s potential and meaning in the mid-20th century.
—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)