Ruth Asawa (1926-2013) is an artist of vital importance, with a growing reputation across the world. Ruth Asawa: Citizen of the Universe, which accompanies the first solo public exhibition of her work in Europe, introduces a new audience to her powerful and genre-defying practice, including her signature hanging sculptures in looped and tied wire, her pioneering work in education inspired by the principles she learnt from Josef Albers and others at Black Mountain College, and her engagement with modernist design.
Focusing on a dynamic and formative period in Asawa’s career between 1945 and 1980, the book grants readers a unique insight into her life and work through a series of in-depth essays, extensive illustrations, archival images, letters and documents. While exploring her legacy from a European perspective, it does not shy away from the discrimination she faced as a Japanese American woman, countered by her self-identification as ‘a citizen of the universe’. Asawa’s revolutionary and inclusive vision of the role art should play in society is perhaps her most important legacy, serving as a potential catalyst for creative thinking in the 21st century.