Los Angeles

Ruth Asawa

Ankrum Gallery

Ruth Asawa is a San Francisco sculptor who is enjoying her first Los Angeles one-man show at the Ankrum Gallery. Miss Asawa’s hanging wire basket forms have become a familiar standby in important national sculpture shows during the past few years. She shapes wire mesh into bulbous nodes which taper into neck forms and widen again into nodes reminiscent of oriental paper lanterns. Oftentimes a series of organic growth forms in a brassy wire will integrate with another in a contrasting tone to create a continuous counterpoint of both linear and formal invention. In other cases Miss Asawa explodes her mesh medium into a wire metaphor of natural growth from foliage and floral forms. Despite an “oriental” feel, these works grow out of the attitudes of the Constructivists who felt that the new materials of sculpture would have to involve a heightened awareness of space and  movement. Miss Asawa’s sculpture meets these intangible criteria with an elegance appropriate to the austere architecture of the mid-century’s international style. These nicely unified and economically stated works are surely among the most original and satisfying new sculpture to have arisen in the western United States since the second war.

Gerald Norland