Today, I went to see the work of Ruth Asawa at the Rena Bransten Gallery. Asawa is an American artist of Japanese descendant who creates biomorphic, three-dimensional sculpture composed of crocheted and tied iron, brass, and copper galvanized wire. She learned basketweaving techniques while at Black Mountain College and during her time in Toluca, Mexico. Some of her crocheted shapes are reminiscent of traditional Mexican egg baskets, while others feature patterns she derives from her childhood experiences living on a farm (they mimic the watering lever she would stand and play on as a child). The shape of her standing on the lever resembles an hourglass, which she recreates in her work. She considers these sculptural forms line drawings. She states they're transparency and interlocking/interweaving in space can only be done with line. Light is also cast upon her sculptures to create different shadow configurations.
Asawa describes her tied sculptures in terms of nature, calling them "trees" or "branching forms." Modeling first from nature, she then turns them into more abstract forms, using geometric centers with four, five, six, or seven points. The number of points define the shape and form of the branches.
Lastly, Asawa's two-dimensional works on paper, drawn in charcoal or brushed with ink, feature abstracted pine trees, pointillist-inspired landscapes, and stylized ocean waves. She draws out each surface with repetitive paint smears or charcoal markings, which later become larger organic shapes (some of the images may be blurry).