Ruth Asawa (1926–2013) was a Japanese-American artist who worked in sculpture, painting, and drawing. After living in internment camps for people of Japanese descent, she studied at Milwaukee State Teachers College then Black Mountain College with Josef Albers.
In the 1950s, Asawa began experimenting with elaborately crocheted three-dimensional wire sculptures evocative of hourglasses, flowers, and trees. Additionally, she created many commissioned public sculptures and fountains in San Francisco, San Jose, and around Northern California.
She exhibited her work in both solo and group shows at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Oakland Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the de Young Museum.
Ruth Asawa conducted several day- and week-long sessions at the Exploratorium during which she and groups of young people made complex geometric structures with empty milk cartons. In addition, she made two beautiful panels of folded paper with black-and-white patterns.