Zack Hatfield is a writer based in New York.

NYR DAILY

Ruth Asawa: Tending the Metal Garden

An installation view of sculptures by Ruth Asawa at David Zwirner, New York, 2017

When the Black Mountain College artist Ruth Asawa debuted her wire sculptures in New York in the Fifties, critics dismissed them as decorative or housewifely. Yet the universal implications of Asawa’s work are owed to the particularities of her struggle at a Japanese internment camp. Asawa sought to evoke “transparent geometries” found in nature: the scales of a butterfly wing, a spiderweb, a wasp’s nest, or a reef of coral.