Ruth Asawa is best known for her sculptures “crocheted” from metal wire, figures she described as “drawings in space.” Suspended, her voluminous forms have the unlikely appearance of fragile webs. The wire sculptures marry her art and craft training: high concepts from her time at Black Mountain College—the experimental art school–cum-farm in North Carolina that offered no degrees—merged with metal basket-making techniques that she learned in Mexico. Despite critics’ gendered readings of her art as craft, she flourished as an exhibiting artist. After three years at Black Mountain College, where Josef Albers and Buckminster Fuller were both mentors, she moved to San Francisco in 1949. There, she expanded into additional roles as an arts advocate, educator and mother. (She had six children in nine years with husband Albert Lanier.) In the 1950s, her work was shown at numerous museums including the Whitney and as part of This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Two Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 49 Checked Out Why is hotel art so boring? Arts & Culture Issue 49 Cult Rooms The history—and future—of Luna Luna Park. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Last Night What did gallerist Selma Modéer Wiking do with her evening? Arts & Culture Issue 47 Thanks, I Hate It How to give feedback to art friends. Arts & Culture Issue 46 Puff Piece On inflatable art. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Hannah Traore The art world's next big thing is a gallerist.