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Ruth Asawa: An Artist Takes Shape

Brave, unconventional, and determined, Ruth Asawa let nothing stop her from living a life intertwined with art.
 
Renowned for her innovative wire sculptures, Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa (1926–2013) was a teenager in Southern California when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II. Japanese Americans on the West Coast were forced into camps. Asawa’s family had to abandon their farm, her father was incarcerated, and she and the rest of her family were sent to a detention center in California, and later to a concentration camp in Arkansas. Asawa nurtured her dreams of becoming an artist while imprisoned and eventually made her way to the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina.
 
This graphic biography by Sam Nakahira, developed in consultation with Asawa’s younger daughter, Addie Lanier, chronicles the genesis of Asawa as an artist—from the horror of Pearl Harbor to her transformative education at Black Mountain College to building her life in San Francisco, where she would further develop and refine her groundbreaking sculpture. Hardcover, 112 pages.

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