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Plane Trees II

Ruth Asawa (AKA Ruth Aiko Asawa; Ruth Asawa Lanier), American, b. January 24, 1926

Creation date: September 8, 1965-September 10, 1965
Creation place: United States

Other Information

Type: Lithograph
Medium and Support: Lithograph
Credit Line: Museum purchase with funds provided by Gordon J. Brodfuehrer in Honor of Dr. James Lasry
Accession Number: 2007.93
State/Province: California
Dimensions: 22 1/2 in. x 30 in. (57.15 cm x 76.2 cm)
Currently on view


Gallery C, Hermosa Beach, California ( - December 5, 2007)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (December 5, 2007 - )

Label Copy

December 2007
Josef Albers and His Students
Ruth Asawa studied at Black Mountain College between 1946 and 1949 where she absorbed many of Albers’ lessons on line drawing and the integration of common, everyday objects in making art. She is best known for her crocheted and tied wire sculptures, works that reflect Albers’ teachings and methodologies through the linearity of their designs and ordinary construction materials. Likewise, Albers’ paper exercises where he instructed students to create 3-dimensional designs from flat sheets of paper parallel Asawa’s interest in origami, a Japanese art of folding paper. Much of Asawa’s oeuvre, including her public commissions, remains grounded in these paper and line design experimentations. In 1965, through a recommendation by Albers, Asawa was granted a two-month fellowship at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles, a print studio with a progressive agenda that aimed to revive the art of lithography and to become a premier training ground for master printers. Since its inception in 1960, Tamarind had also been a place for artists such as Albers to discover the expressive potentialities of the printing process. In Plane Trees T1472, the abstractly rendered cluster of trees articulates the tension between realistic pictorialization and a spiritual, stylized projection of nature. Similar to the other prints in her Tamarind series, Plane Trees illustrates the artist’s experimentation with the painterly quality of the lithographic process, from soft, delicate lines to brush-like splotches of inky curves and splatters. The print exemplifies a host of Albers’ ideas, from the versatility of lines to the relationships between tonal contrast and figure ground.
Last Updated: 1/18/2023


This object has the following bibliographic references:

Ms. Elizabeth C. Baker, ed. Art in America Brant Art Publications, Inc.. New York, New York, October 2007
Page Number: 88, Figure Number: 88

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