8 Pioneering Women Artists of Black Mountain College
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American sculptor, educator, and arts activist Ruth Asawa (1926–2013) is known for her extensive body of wire sculptures that challenge conventional notions of material and form through their emphasis on lightness and transparency. Born in rural California, Asawa began to make art while detained in internment camps for Japanese Americans at Santa Anita, California, and Rohwer, Arkansas, where she was sent with her family in 1942-1943. Following her release, she enrolled in Milwaukee State Teachers College, eventually making her way to Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1946, then known for its progressive pedagogical methods and avant-garde aesthetic milieu. Asawa's time at Black Mountain proved formative in her development as an artist, and she was influenced there in particular by her teachers Josef Albers, Buckminster Fuller, as well as the mathematician Max Dehn.
–Courtesy of Headlands Center for the Arts
Image rights: Courtesy of The Estate of Ruth Asawa and David Zwirner, New York/London
Japanese-American, 1926-2013, Norwalk, California