Wednesday, August 7, 2013

R.I.P. Ruth Asawa (1926-2013)

Reposted from: Made In Slant
R.I.P. Ruth Asawa (1926-2013)
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Monday night San Francisco lost one of their most admired sculptors, Ruth Asawa. Asawa’s signature works are her transparent wire mesh sculptures. If you go to the de Young Museum, you can view several of these pieces hanging from the lobby area of the Museum’s tower. Composed of entwined wire, they appear to float in the air, like balls of mist, biomorphic forms defying the law of gravity.
Besides her floating forms at the de Young, Asawa has at least three other pieces of public art in San Francisco: the ”Hyatt Fountain on Union Square,” the ”Japanese American Internment Memorial” in San Jose, and the iconic “Mermaid fountain in Ghiradelli Square.” This year the proposed plans for a new Apple Store threatened to evict her early 1970s “Hyatt Fountain” residing on steps between the Hyatt Hotel. After a public protest, the city rejected Apple’s plans (read more about it here).
As a woman and Asian-American, Asawa’s work was often marginalized in the male-dominated world of sculpture. That has slowly been changing. This spring one of her complex 1960s hanging wire pieces sold at a Christie’s auction house in New York for more than $1.4 million.
An inspiring quote from Asawa: “The best ideas come unexpectedly from a conversation or a common activity like watering the garden. These can get lost or slip away if not acted on when they occur. “
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e75a7c6460d2c44f51ca9c0aef15f2bd “Untitled” (S.210) 1958
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Picture 32
Ruth Asawa's Living Room, San Francisco, 1969_jpg Ruth Asawa’s Living Room, San Francisco, 1969 
Posted: 07 Aug 2013 05:00 AM PDT
A0314-28_medium Mi-Teintes watercolor paper, 11″ × 14″ × 12″ high (2012)
Some people are doubly blessed. Besides being a professor of Computer Science at MIT, Erik Demaine is also an accomplished paper folding artist. He and his father, Martin, are known for their “curved-crease” origami sculptures. Taking flat sheets of paper, the Demaines create thin accordian folds across the sheet and then twist the sheet to form spherical shapes that make the mobius strip look like child’s play.
Erik Demaine writes on his website, “Paper folds itself into a natural equilibrium form depending on its creases. These equilibria are poorly understood, especially for curved creases. We are exploring what shapes are possible in this genre of self-folding origami, with applications to deployable structures, manufacturing, and self-assembly. This transformation of flat paper into swirling surfaces creates sculpture that feels alive.”
See more paper sculptures from the Demaines’ extensive portfolio here.
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tsunami_medium “Tsunami” Elephant Hide Paper
0191a_medium “Green Waterfall” (2011). Mi-Teintes watercolor paper, 18″ × 11″ × 19″ high
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