Imogen Cunningham, Ruth Asawa with hanging sculpture, 1952.

PHOTO: ©2017 IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM; ARTWORK: ©2017 THE ESTATE OF RUTH ASAWA/COURTESY DAVID ZWIRNER, NEW YORK AND LONDON

For some, Ruth Asawa, whose work is currently on view at David Zwirner gallery in New York, will be a discovery. Her hanging wire sculptures have only recently been written into art history, but in Asawa’s heyday, during the 1950s and ’60s, critics knew and praised her. One of her fans was Parker Tyler, who, in the December 1954 issue of ARTnews, wrote a glowing review of her show at Peridot gallery in New York. Tyler’s review follows in full below, with one minor addition—the artist’s surname was originally misspelled as “Asaw” but has here been corrected. —Alex Greenberger

“Reviews and previews”
By Parker Tyler
December 1954

Ruth Asawa [Peridot; Dec. 6-31], though previously seen at this gallery in group shows, is a San Francisco artist who is accorded her first New York one man show. Her filigree sculptures, woven of brass, enameled copper and black and white iron and wire are the kind of objets d’art abstrait that eventually may take on a vital spiritual life indispensable to the environments they inhabit. Bilaterally symmetric and rhythmic involuted movement (at times six feet tall and always suspended from the ceiling), they have a silent, fulfilling beauty that enjoins one to be as still as they are or to tremble when they tremble. Prices unquoted.