ARTIST MONOGRAPHS

PUBLISHER
David Zwirner Books

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 9.5 x 12 in. / 176 pgs / 100 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2018 p. 21   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781941701683 TRADE
List Price: $70.00 CDN $92.50

AVAILABILITY
In stock

BROWSE THE 2019 FALL CATALOG

Preview our Fall 2019 catalog, featuring more than 500 new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.

  

DAVID ZWIRNER BOOKS

Ruth Asawa

Text by Tiffany Bell, Robert Storr.

Featured image is reproduced from 'Ruth Asawa.'

Known for her intricate and dynamic wire sculptures, the American sculptor, educator and arts activist Ruth Asawa challenged conventional notions of material and form through her emphasis on lightness and transparency.

Asawa began her now iconic looped-wire works in the late 1940s while still a student at Black Mountain College. Their unique structure was inspired by a 1947 trip to Mexico, during which local craftsmen taught her how to create baskets out of wire. While seemingly unrelated to the lessons of color and composition taught in Josef Albers’ legendary Basic Design course, these works, as she explained, are firmly grounded in his teachings in their use of unexpected materials and their elision of figure and ground.

Presenting an important and timely overview of the artist’s work, this monograph brings together a broad selection of her sculptures, works on paper and more. Together they demonstrate the centrality of Asawa’s innovative practice to the art-historical legacy of the 20th century. In addition to an incredible group of photographs of the artist and her work by Imogen Cunningham, a selection of rare archival materials illustrates a chronology of the artist’s life and work. Also featured is an extensive text by Tiffany Bell that explores the artist’s influences, history, and, most importantly, the work itself, as well as a significant essay by Robert Storr discussing Asawa’s work in relation to mid-20th century art history, culture and scientific theory.

Born in Norwalk, California, to Japanese immigrants, Ruth Asawa (1926–2013) enrolled in Milwaukee State Teachers College in 1943, but was unable to receive her degree due to continued hostility against Japanese Americans. In 1946, Asawa began to study at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, where she absorbed the vital teachings and influences of Josef and Anni Albers, Buckminster Fuller and Merce Cunningham, among others, and embraced her own vocation as an artist. Asawa died in August 2013, at the age of 87, at her home in San Francisco.


Featured image is reproduced from 'Ruth Asawa.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

The New Yorker

Andrea K. Scott

The addition of Asawa to art’s overwhelmingly white-male hit parade comes at a critical time in our country, as the policies of the current Administration challenge the undeniable fact that the United States is a nation of immigrants.

The Washington Post

Sebastian Smee

[Asawa's sculptures] have an aura of casual prowess.

Artblog

Andrea Kirsh

This exquisite book is appropriate to its subject and an excellent introduction to an artist only belatedly becoming known to a larger art world.

Ruth Asawa

in stock  $70.00


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/20/2018

Robert Storr on Ruth Asawa

Robert Storr on Ruth Asawa

Best known for her labor-intensive, hanging woven wire sculptures, Ruth Asawa also produced wonderful watercolors and paintings like Untitled (BMC.92, In and Out) (c. 1946-49), reproduced here from the gorgeous new oversized monograph from David Zwirner Books. "Contemplating her oeuvre with even a fraction of the concentration that she devoted to creating it makes our minds supple," Robert Storr writes. "…The time is right for Asawa to return to our attention because such imaginative suppleness is what we so sorely lack these days. For the perils of trying to dominate Nature rather than attempting to imitate it in its manner of operation are all around us—and they are terrifying. With exceptional grace and intimacy, Asawa pointed toward a more hopeful point of departure—and for us in the eleventh hour, of collective re-departure." Featured image is © The Estate of Ruth Asawa, Courtesy The Estate of Ruth Asawa and David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong. continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 4/19/2018

Ruth Asawa

Ruth Asawa

"My curiosity was aroused by the idea of giving structural form to the images in my drawings. These forms come from observing plants, the spiral shell of a snail, seeing light through insect wings, watching spiders repair their webs in the early morning, and seeing the sun through the droplets of water suspended from the tips of pine needles while watering my garden." — Ruth Asawa, June 5, 1995. Untitled (S.089, Hanging Asymmetrical Twelve Interlocking Bubbles), c. 1959, is © The Estate of Ruth Asawa, Courtesy The Estate of Ruth Asawa and David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong. continue to blog


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