Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

An artist’s collection of faces

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“Faces of Ruth Asawa” at Cantor Art Center

Cantor now has a permanent exhibition titled “Faces of Ruth Asawa”. Unlike her sophisticated, abstract and beautiful wire sculptures, this is her life. Ruth’s story is a fascinating one. These ceramic masks originally hung outside of her home, they represent an archive of people she interacted with and includes her children. She added to them over three decades and moved them around as the collection of faces grew. The presentation at Cantor maintains the presentation at the time of Ruth’s death. Surprisingly, it manages to retain intimacy in the not so personal museum setting. What is it about clay that feels so primal and personal? Or did it feel personal because I recently spent a lot of time with my face.

To get a closeup feeling of this exhibition, the “Modern Art Notes podcast” with the curator, Aleesa Pitchamarn Alexander, might be a good place to start exploring.

I have also been wondering about how we celebrate the lives of our loved ones, those who pass away ahead of us. Next to the installation are three clay vessels, named “the life vessels”, made by Ruth’s son, Paul Lanier, on her request. In these vessels are embedded Ruth’s ashes along with ashes of her husband, Albert, and her son, Adam. Through the Modern Art Notes podcast, I learn that vessels are fired in Japanese wood fired anagama kiln. One of the vessels retains the crushed oyster shells on the outside making it texturally rich. Apparently, the family used these vessels as vases on an everyday basis.

Written by locomotoring

April 14, 2023 at 3:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. Very interesting subject .

    Ratna bali Datta

    April 26, 2023 at 8:35 pm

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