: views from the Hill

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Ruth Asawa

Took the bus down to Market Street and caught the N-Judah over to the de Young today to see the Ruth Asawa retrospective.

Lovely. The wire work is fascinating, peaceful, mesmerizing. The museum had the lights set so the shadows through the wires fell on the floor and bent and danced across the walls as the air moved the sculptures.

Some of her ink drawings are amazing. The one of her son is pattern on pattern on pattern with very little actual drawing of hand or foot or head, just pattern and lack of pattern and the emptiness between.

Asawa's retrospective consists not just of her wire sculptures (both crocheted and tied and bundled) but also her notes from her time at Black Mountain College (NC), a documentary film, a collection of her paper works and photographs taken of her and her work by her longtime friend photographer Imogen Cunningham.

We discovered, watching the documentary, that the fountain at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Union Square, which we'd ridden by on the bus earlier in the day, was one of her public commissions. (an in-process view of its construction)

We'd seen some of her wire sculptures in the elevator lobby of the museum tower back a couple months ago and were excited to hear there'd be an entire exhibit.

The exhibit runs through 28 January 2007.

Update: Asawa is a sculptor, an artist, an honored arts activist and the mother of six. I've been wondering what I've been up to lately. No time to do what needs doing? Where was Asawa's time?

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