top of page

Untitled S. 272 by Ruth Asawa

In honor of it being Women’s History Month, I found a piece from the Asian Art Museum that is featured right now as one of the museum’s exhibits. The piece is called Untitled (S. 272) by Ruth Asawa. Ruth Asawa was an American sculptor known for her abstract looped wire pieces. Born in 1926 in Norwalk, California, she grew up with a family of Japanese immigrants. Her family worked on a farm, where she used to sit on the back of a horse-back leverer and draw lines on the sand with her feet. These lines would become a base and inspiration for her work later in her life. Asawa paved a way for newer artists in the civic landscape of San Francisco and in the history of American art. She was also considered one of the best teachers and arts advocate. 

Untitled (S. 272) is a nine foot, hanging sculpture made of looped copper and iron wire. It is a three dimensional sculpture that depicts a flowy, round sillouette. Many have also described the wire as “knitting” or “crocheting” without needles because of the unique way it is looped together with holes still poking through in between. The title “Untitled” tells the viewer that it is meant to be interpreted by the viewer in the way that they observe it. Some examples of what have been believed is that the wire is a reference to Asawa’s and her family’s time in Japanese internment camps or nature that she saw while growing up. A part of nature that Asawa herself noted were tree branches. In fact she sometimes even referred to her way of weaving the wire as “branching form” and some of her pieces were clearly made to look like trees.

Asawa’s art was considered a large step in the art world because of how it challenged original ideas. Her work explored spatial abstraction with the biomorphic structures which used repetition and negative space. Her artwork represented the transition between sculpture in the modern postwar period and the subsequent era of contemporary art. 

273 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page