Ruth Asawa


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Life’s Work

Edited by Tamara H. Schenkenberg; With essays by Aruna D’Souza, Helen Molesworth, and Tamara H. Schenkenberg

View Inside Format: Hardcover
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“Doing is living. That is all that matters.”—Ruth Asawa

Throughout her long and prolific career American artist Ruth Asawa (1926–2013) developed innovative sculptures in wire, a medium she explored through increasingly complex forms using craft-based techniques she learned while traveling in Mexico in 1947. In 1949, after studying at Black Mountain College, Asawa moved to San Francisco and created dozens of wire works, among them an iconic bronze fountain—the first of many public commissions—for the city’s Ghirardelli Square.
Bringing together examples from across Asawa’s full and extraordinary career, this expansive volume serves as an unprecedented reorientation of her sculptures within the historical context of 20th-century art. In particular, it includes careful consideration of Asawa’s advocacy for arts education in public schools, while simultaneously focusing on her vital—and long under-recognized—contributions to the field of sculpture. Insightful essays explore the intersection of formal experimentation and identity to offer a fresh assessment of this celebrated artist. Richly illustrated with exquisite new installation views, Ruth Asawa: Life’s Work introduces original scholarship that traces the dynamic evolution of form in the artist’s work.

Published in association with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Exhibition Schedule:

Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis

Tamara H. Schenkenberg is curator at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis.


Pulitzer Arts Foundation, St. Louis

“The catalogue allows one to witness Asawa’s personal and profession lives intertwining.”—C.A. Ventura, Choice

“Indeed, every component of this impressive book builds upon and dialogues with the other so that we may more fully apprehend—to use Schenkenberg’s words—'the spiral line of her life’s work.’”—Gabrielle Rose Curti, Woman’s Art Journal
ISBN: 9780300242690
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation
160 pages, 9 1/4 x 11
100 color illus.
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